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BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Tribulation)
Okay, good afternoon for those of you here in the studio, and good morning or good evening or whatever it may be where you’re watching us on television. We want you to feel welcome to a simple Bible study. We’ve gone from Genesis to Revelation pretty much chapter and verse, and now we’re connecting the dots. Sort of an overview in a review situation, but we’re not covering it verse-by-verse like we did the first time.
Anyway, for those of you that may have just tuned in, that’s what we’re doing on the present programs. And again, we always want to thank our television audience for your prayer support, your financial help, and your encouraging letters. I’ll never stop thanking you for the encouraging mail time that we experience. It just always makes our day. And when the girls in the office read them and hear the phone calls, they’re just as thrilled as we are.
I’ve got most of the family here today! Over here Todd and Kim are back from Wisconsin on a little vacation, and they’ve got their kids with them. And in the center over here is my son Greg and his wife Janette and Jesse is with them, too, I see. Good deal. I don’t think Laura’s here yet, but she wouldn’t let me put the camera on her anyway. But Laura’s in town someplace. She’ll be here later this afternoon. So anyway, we just always thank the Lord that the family is such good support. And of course, never forget my precious wife over here – my honey. That’s the way people address us now, you know, Les and Honey. So, we’re all here as a family.
All right, as we’re still connecting the dots, we’re going to move on from where we were in our last program, which was in I Corinthians 15 verse 51. Where Paul wrote, “Behold, I show you a mystery; We shall not all die but, we shall all be changed,” speaking of true believers in the Body of Christ. We spent the whole program on the Rapture, or the out-calling of the Body of Christ.
I’m going to keep hammering away at the fact that nowhere in Scripture, except in Paul’s epistles, do you see the term The Body of Christ. It’s unknown to all the rest of Scripture. Peter, James, and John knew nothing of the doctrines of the Body of Christ. When they speak of His coming, it’s always associated with His Second Coming at the end of the Tribulation. Jesus knew of the Body of Christ, the true Church, but He didn’t reveal the secret, because it wasn’t time. His man for that job, the Apostle Paul, wasn’t on the scene yet.
So as I approach these things, I always have to emphasize and reemphasize – don’t look for anything pertaining to the Rapture, the Church, and the Body of Christ anyplace but in Paul’s epistles, because it’s just not in there. Everything else deals with God and Israel. And everything prophetically is looking forward to the Second Coming, which is preceded by the horrors by the Tribulation—which we’re going to be looking at pretty much in detail this afternoon.
Now, like I say so often at my seminars, I never know where I’m going to start until I get up here. It’s pretty much the same today. I’ve just sort of waited for something to gel. So for now, let’s begin a review of the timeline coming all the way from Abraham on up to Christ’s first coming—the First Advent, and His three years of earthly ministry. Then we have the Crucifixion, His burial, and resurrection. Next, He ascended back to Glory and turned everything He left behind here on the earth over to the Twelve. And they continued on with the same modus operandi that was placed here in the three years of Christ’s earthly ministry. But instead of Christ Himself being present, He passed all of the powers and everything over to the Twelve. But Israel continued to reject and reject until you get to the stoning of Stephen. At the stoning of Stephen we’re introduced, then, to the next major player; which dropped us down to this point in the timeline where we open up the Dispensation of Grace through the Apostle Paul.
Now, as soon as the Dispensation of Grace has come to an end, as we saw in our last program, God has to take the Body of Christ out and up to Glory. And the reason is because it will not fit up in the prophetic timeline. That’s why we are Pre-Trib in our theology, that the Church or the Body of Christ can have nothing to do with all of the prophecies concerning Israel. We finish the Dispensation of Grace, and now we’re going to come back to this top time line to where He went back to glory forty days after His resurrection. The seven years of Tribulation is the next event leading up to the Second Coming and the Kingdom.
I think a good place to start would be in Psalms chapter 2, as that chapter is just a brief outline of what I’ve just covered. We’ll start at verse 1.
“Why do the heathen (That’s the Gentile.) rage, and the people (That’s the other category of the human race—Israel. You’ve only Jew and Gentile, remember.) imagine a vain thing?
The kings of the earth (In other words, the leadership. In this case, it turns out to be Rome.) set themselves, and the rulers (That is the religious rulers of Israel. They–) take counsel together,…” That’s why they brought about the crucifixion. It wasn’t the Jews, and it wasn’t the Romans. It was both of them.
“…they take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, (Which was the Messiah) saying, 3. Let us break their bands asunder, (In other words, we’re not going to have God interfering in our earthly affairs.) and cast away their cords from us.” Now, here’s God’s reaction.
“He that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: (not amusement – derision) the Lord shall have them in derision.”
All right, looking at the timeline again after reading those four verses takes care of all of human history from the time of Adam, past Abraham, right on up to the Crucifixion. When they rejected all of God’s offers, and in their own pride and circumstances they said we’ll run the earth our own way, God says in derision, oh, maybe you won’t. The next verse says:
“Then (That’s always a time word. After they’ve rejected the Messiah, they’ve put Him to death, and He is ascended back to Glory–) he (that is God) shall speak unto them (That is the whole human race, Jew and Gentile.) in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.”
Now looking at the timeline again, you see that the Psalmist skips Paul and this Age of Grace that we feel is coming to a close even as we teach. The Psalmist knew nothing of this. Why? Because it’s spoken of as a secret. God has never revealed this to anyone in the Old Testament.
So, all the Psalmist could talk about is this timeline up here. Christ is put to death by the Jew and the Gentile, and they continue to reject. Then the next big event on the timeline is the wrath and vexation that we just read about in verse 5—which is going to be directed, as we’ll see in a little bit, primarily to the Nation of Israel. But it’s going to affect the whole world. He will vex them. The Tribulation is going to be awful. It’s beyond human understanding — “and He will vex them in His sore displeasure.” It’s going to be a time of death and destruction, as we saw in our last taping. But then what follows? Verse 6 is the next event on the prophetic timeline, and that is the Kingdom—the 1,000 year reign of Christ.
“Yet have I set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” There’s the timeline in a nutshell. Everything came up leading up to His first Advent. They rejected Him. God called Him back to Glory. And then due to their foolishness, God in His wrath is going to come back and vex them in His sore displeasure—leading up to the Kingdom.
Now again, I’m going to repeat it. Nothing concerning the Church Age, the Body of Christ is my favorite term (the Church which is His Body); none of this is revealed in the prophecies concerning Israel. We have to start on that point—that you cannot find anything pertaining to the Body of Christ anywhere in the Old Testament. It is all a prophetic timeline leading up to the First Advent, the Crucifixion, the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the Kingdom.
All right, now from there I think I will take you up to Jeremiah chapter 30. Because what we’ve got to do is identify these seven years primarily, not exclusively, as a seven year period of time where God is going to be dealing with His Covenant people. And that’s why I can’t understand how people can keep trying to put Body of Christ into the Tribulation. God doesn’t have a point of controversy with His Own Body. We’re blood-bought. He’s loved us. He’s given Himself for us. Why should He pour out His wrath on us? Well, that’s what Paul says.
I Thessalonians 5:9
“For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.” That wrath is for Israel primarily—because of their unbelief and their rejection of everything—culminating, of course, in the crucifixion.
Now, if you’ll stop at Jeremiah, then we’re going to go on up to Daniel. Stop at Jeremiah 30 and see how uniquely Jewish this whole period of time is. Jeremiah chapter 30 verse 4—because the first thing we always have to determine is not only who’s writing, but what’s the next one, Luther? Yeah, who to? Well, it’s to Israel. Jeremiah 30 verse 4. This is Jeremiah the prophet writing by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, of course. Verse 4:
“And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.” Now stop a minute. Israel and Judah – that includes how many of the tribes? All of them.
Too many people today think the ten tribes disappeared. They’re gone, and all He’s dealing with is Judah and Benjamin. No. No. No. All of Scripture from the time of the captivities when they come back are still dealing with the whole nation. Don’t ever fall for that false lie that the ten tribes are lost and all we’ve got left is Judah. No way. And here it is so plain.
Jeremiah is writing around 500 or 600 B.C. That’s after the Ten Tribes, back in Kings and everything, were taken captive. So, don’t ever fall for that, that ten tribes were lost. The whole Nation of Israel is still intact, and it is as we speak. All right, so “And these are the words that the LORD spake concerning Israel and concerning Judah.” So, who are we directing it to? Israel. Verse 5:
“For thus saith the LORD; We have heard a voice of trembling, of fear, and not of peace.” See that? That’s not a very comforting verse, is it? All right, next verse:
“Ask ye now, and see whether a man doth travail with child? wherefore do I see every man with his hands on his loins, as a woman in travail, (or in labor pain) and all faces (men and women) are turned into (What?) paleness.” Why? From all the mental pressures of the Tribulation!
Remember I said not too long ago, I don’t remember where or when or how, but the horrors of the Tribulation are going to be mental as a much as physical. It’s going to be beyond comprehension—the mental pressures that are going to come on the human race as a result of these plagues and these woes and these judgments.
Now, you know the “feel good” religion people don’t want to hear that, do they? Naturally, you’re not going to get the multitudes to come in and hear these kinds of words. That’s why they’re ignorant of it. They don’t want to hear it. They’ve got their heads in the sand. But see, the Scripture is so blatant. It’s coming, see? I think I said it over and over in the last taping – If God’s Word said it’s going to happen, it IS going to happen! We’re getting closer every day, but we don’t know how close. God’s wheels turn awfully slowly. But it’s coming.
All right, so it’s coming to the place where “every face will be turned into paleness.” Now verse 7:
“Alas!…” Now remember these words when I get up into Matthew 24 later this afternoon. The words of the Lord Jesus when He puts it this way – “For then shall be great tribulation such as never has been seen on the earth before or up ‘til now.” Now lock all those up into your computer, because this is the beauty of Scripture—that it all fits together. Now verse 7, again:
“Alas, for that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of (Who’s trouble?) Jacob’s trouble,…” Well, in Scripture who’s Jacob? Israel. This is going to be seven years of God dealing primarily with His Covenant people.
Now, I know the first thing that every one of us is prone to ask is one word. Why? Why such horror on His own Covenant people? Well, I think we can answer it the same way I answer when people say why do you think America is going to face such a serious judgment? Because to whom much is given, much is required.
Now look, God has been dealing with the Nation of Israel since 2,000 B.C. plus another two thousand. For 4,000 years, one way or another, God has been dealing with His Covenant people. Even to this very day, the very rank and file of the Jewish people is belligerently in, what’s the word I’m looking for? Unbelief! They will not buy into this. So one day He’s going to come down in His wrath unto those poor people like we cannot even imagine.
All right, so the point I’m making is that this is all part of the Jerusalem, or the Jewish prophecy. It has nothing to do with the Church Age. Nothing. This is all God dealing with Israel and preparing them for His Second Coming and the Kingdom, when finally all the blessings of God will be poured upon the Nation like they have never had before.
“…it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble, but he shall be saved out of it.” Now, we have to be careful. The whole nation is not going to be saved, but one third. I think that’s in Zechariah chapter 13. Here are two perfectly fitted portions of Scripture. They fit just like a jigsaw puzzle. It’s going to be the time of Jacob’s Trouble, but he shall be saved out of it. Not all of them, but a remnant. And God has always dealt with Israel on the basis of the believing remnant. Always! Now, we get the remnant in a mathematical term. Zechariah chapter 13 and drop in at verse 8. We’re dealing with the same seven year period of time—the time of Jacob’s Trouble.
“And it shall come to pass, (Will it? Absolutely!) that in all the land, (That is the land of Israel.) saith the LORD, two parts therein shall be cut off and die;…” Now that’s a horrible statement, isn’t it? But it is God’s Word. It’s going to happen—that two thirds of the Jewish people are going to lose their lives in this seven year period of time.
“…but the third shall be left therein. (God’s going to protect that third, and He’s going to bring them through so that they can come in and enjoy the glories of the Kingdom.) 9. And I will bring the third part through the fire, (That is through those seven years of hell on earth and then some.) and will refine them as silver is refined, and will try (or test) them as gold is tested: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: and I will say, It is my people: and they shall say, The LORD is my God.” Now, that will be the remnant of Jews that will come through the Tribulation and come into the glories of the Kingdom.
All right, now in the eight minutes we have left in this half hour, since we’re back in the Old Testament, I’m going to take you up to Daniel chapter 9—which I’ve always called, as you well remember, the benchmark of all Old Testament prophecy. Daniel chapter 9, where, if you remember correctly, we have the time frame of 490 years. Now this is to establish, again, these two portions of Scripture that we just looked at as being a seven year period of time just as real as seven years would be today. Beginning in verse 24, the total prophecy is 490 years. Now, we’ve looked at this over and over.
“Seventy weeks (or 490 years) are determined (That is decreed by God Himself.) upon thy people (which would be Israel) and upon thy holy city, (Jerusalem) to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, (Now that’s the work of the cross. Then the next event that is listed here is–) and to bring in everlasting righteousness,…” Which, of course, is the Kingdom.
But Daniel is speaking here. He has not brought in the Tribulation as yet. He’s just simply showing that 483 years would take place from the time of Nehemiah’s going back to Jerusalem to rebuild the city wall until the time of the crucifixion. So, that left seven years of the 490 that were not fulfilled. All right, so God stops His time clock. Then we come down to verse 26.
“And after threescore and two weeks (483 years) shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: (Not because of anything he had done.) and the people (Now, here’s one of the clues for the basic Tribulation thing. It is that the anti-Christ will come. That’s the prince that’s referred to here.) of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary;…”
Now, we know from A.D. 70 history, that it was the Roman Empire that destroyed Jerusalem and the Temple. So, out of that Roman Empire will come this prince which we refer to over and over as the anti-Christ. Never lose sight of that. Today everybody thinks he’s going to have to come out of the Muslim world just because of the news. Well, I’ve got news for you. He’s going to come out of the Old Revived Roman Empire, although he may be Muslim. Europe is just about totally Muslim anyway. So that’s no problem. He could very well be Muslim. He could be a Jewish Muslim. He could be a Syrian Muslim. He can be just about anything. But he’s going to come out of the European Union. He will be one of those government officials of whom we will never be able to establish his identity, because that’s going to happen after we’re gone.
All right, now verse 27. This prince that’s coming, and he’s going to come out of the Old Roman Empire or what is today called the European Union, this prince that shall come–
“And he shall confirm (Or make a covenant, or I like to use the word treaty.) with many for one week (seven years):…” Well now, it’s obvious from all of our news for the last forty years, who are the many people in the world that are looking for a peace treaty? Well, the Arab world and Israel. So this super individual, he’s going to be very human, but he’s going to have supernatural power—because we now enter into God’s timing, again, of the supernatural. He will have the supernatural ability to actually bring the Palestinians and the Arab world into a peace with Israel. It will have to be supernatural. No president on earth could do it. No empire could do it. But God will do it.
All right, so this man is going to make a peace treaty with the Middle East, Jew and the Arab world, for a seven year period of time. It’ll be a seven year peace treaty. Now here’s the kicker.
“…and in the middle of the week (or in the middle of those seven years) he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease,…” Now, I’m always trying to get people to analyze every word and ask questions. Now, if we’re going to have a supernatural peace treaty with a length of seven years between Israel and the Arab world, and now the Scripture says that the temple worship will be brought to a stop. Before you can stop Temple worship, what do you have to do? Well, you’ve got to start it.
There’s no Temple worship today. So again, just by using common sense, what will this seven year peace treaty bring in? Israel’s permission to rebuild her temple. And it’s going to be such a supernatural, mind-boggling thing. I’ll even stick my neck out. They’re going to be able to build it right next to the Golden Dome of the Rock up there on the Temple Mount. I really think that. I think that Temple is sitting in a warehouse in Israel all prefabbed and ready to be hauled out with a couple of semis. They’ll have it up and going in no time flat.
Okay, so now coming back to the timeline. Once this seven years opens up for the first three-and-a-half years, Israel is going to have Temple worship—by virtue of the anti-Christ’s guaranteeing them permission to rebuild their Temple and going back under the Mosaic Law. Everything will be pretty much, as much as you can hook up with antiquity, as it was back here in the three years before the crucifixion. Israel is going to have Temple worship. They’re going to have a priesthood. They’re going to have peace. They’re going to have prosperity. They’re going to be on a euphorian kick, if I can call it that. It’s just going to be more than they can handle.
All right, this is where it all opens up. That now, once this first three-and-a-half years has gone by, this man anti-Christ will suddenly turn on Israel. Read the rest of the verse.
“…and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate,…” This newly rebuilt Temple. Now remember, it won’t be a big gold edifice like Nebuchadnezzar destroyed. Or Solomon’s Temple. It won’t even be a Temple like Herod’s Temple, but it’s going to be functional. They’ll be able to practice their animal sacrifices. They’re already talking about it in Israel. But in the middle of that seven year treaty, this man anti-Christ, the wicked individual that he really is, will turn on Israel and cause the oblations and the sacrifices and all that to stop.
Okay, I’ve only got a matter of seconds left, so I don’t want to go into another detail. But always remember, that as soon as these seven years opens up, it’s the unfolding of prophecy like we’ve never seen before. And it’s going to be under a supernatural umbrella. We have to understand that.
LESSON ONE * PART II
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Tribulation)
Glad to have you joining us out in your living rooms or wherever. We’re going to continue right on where we left off in the last half hour. In fact, all four programs this afternoon will probably just run together. I’m not going to try and end in a particular place. And if we end up in the middle of a verse at the end of the program, we’ll just pick it up in the next half hour. So be aware of that this afternoon as we continue to connect the dots of Scripture.
All right, we’re talking about the next great event on God’s calendar after the Rapture of the Church, which will be the seven years of Tribulation—the vexation and wrath of God predominately on the Nation of Israel, as we showed in the first half hour. But I decided to stop for a second and establish again from Paul’s writings why I so adamantly stand on the fact that we as the Body of Christ will not go into the Tribulation. We will not find out who the anti-Christ is, because that will not be revealed until after we’re gone. And of course, the primary Scripture for that is II Thessalonians chapter 2. I think most of you in the studio have already found the Scripture. For those of you out in television, join us if you will.
II Thessalonians chapter 2 and we’re going to start right at verse 1. And remember, we’re going to establish why I teach that this will take place before the anti-Christ is revealed. Now verse 1:
II Thessalonians 2:1a
“Now we beseech you, brethren,…” So, Paul is talking to his Gentile believers. Now, you know, it’s amazing what these anti-Paul people can dream up. Somebody had given this guy one of my tapes delineating Paul’s apostleship. And he came back with a series of questions that the guy should send me. And I mean it’s just unbelievable. Well, one of the tenets that I held to in that particular tape was that Paul alone was the foundation, or the founder, of the Body of Christ according to I Corinthians chapter 3 where he says, “I am the master builder. I have laid the foundation which is Jesus Christ crucified.”
This guy comes back and asks, was that only applied to the congregation at Corinth? Was he was the Master-builder of the church at Corinth? Now, I haven’t answered it yet. I may not. I don’t know. But listen, if that be the case, then when he wrote to the Romans that we are “joint-heirs with Christ,” then that would mean just the Church of Rome. When Paul writes to the Galatians that “you’re not under law, you’re under grace,” oh, that was just for the Galatians, that’s not for us.
See how ridiculous their arguments get? It just is nonsensical what they’ll dream up—anything to refute what Paul has said. But here again, Paul is beseeching these Gentile believers in the ancient time in what we call Thessalonica.
II Thessalonians 2:1
“Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him,”
Now, all you have to do is have a sixth grade mentality and look at that. Does that say, I’m coming to the Mount of Olives? No. He’s going to gather us to Himself in the air as he had explained in I Thessalonians chapter 4. So there’s no way that you can put this in line with the Second Coming when He comes and stands on the Mount of Olives after all the horrors are over.
Evidently there were people who were trying to upset Paul’s teaching and his Gentile believers. They had come in and told these Thessalonian believers that they were already in the Tribulation, and that there was no such thing as the Rapture taking place until after the Tribulation and so forth. This is why Paul is saying what he’s saying. Now verse 2:
II Thessalonians 2:2a
“That ye be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, (Mentally. Don’t get all upset by what these false teachers are telling you.) neither by spirit, nor by word,…” In other words, don’t let these guys come in and fast-talk you into thinking that you’ve missed something, and that you’re out in left field. No.
II Thessalonians 2:2b
“…nor by a letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand.” What does that imply? They were actually forging letters and sending them into his churches and signing Paul’s name to it. I mean, the devil will stop at nothing. That’s what they were doing.
And the Thessalonians…now you’ve got to always remember. What kind of people were Paul’s converts? Well, they’d just come out of paganism. They knew nothing of the Old Testament. They knew nothing of Israel’s Law and Israel’s God. They were just simply brought out by believing in the death, burial, and resurrection of this Jesus of Nazareth.
And God had transformed their lives and had given them the Holy Spirit whereby they were able to withstand all the pressures of persecution and everything. But they didn’t have a lot of theology behind them. They were still babes in Christ. So these false letters would come in, and you can understand, it would throw a curve at them. So Paul is almost frantically writing to them, don’t believe this stuff. Don’t you take a forged letter as from me. And don’t you believe for a minute that the day of the LORD is at hand, because it couldn’t be at hand until they were Raptured, as he had taught in I Thessalonians. Now verse 3 is the one I want to spend just a couple more minutes on.
II Thessalonians 2:3a
“Let no man deceive you by any means: (Don’t you let someone come in and say, well, you’re in the Tribulation, and there’s no such thing as being called out ahead of it. You’re going to go through the horrors of all the prophetic things. So he says,) for that day (Well, what day? The Day of the LORD. And what’s the Day of the LORD in Scripture? The seven years of Tribulation. So that day, the Tribulation–) shall not come, unless there come first a departure,…”
Now, I’ve had Jerry put these men’s names on the board. And I want you to lock this in this afternoon. I’ve used them before, but I haven’t put them on the board. These are the first five translations of the original manuscripts from the Greek. Tyndale—1534. A year later, Coverdale—and he’s the one that I have quoted on the program over and over. Coverdale way back here in the 1500’s said to always determine who wrote it, to whom is it written, what were the circumstances, what went before, and what follows after. That was this guy, and he translated the whole Bible from Greek to English in 1535.
The next one was the Geneva Bible, which of course was over in Switzerland. And that was in 1537. Then came the next one, the Cranmer Bible, which was in 1539. And then several years after those four were completed, we had the Beza in 1565. And I’m not as acquainted with this one. But we have these four basic translations from Greek to English all within a matter of one, two, three, four years.
Now, when the King James came along in 1611, the translators used Tyndale’s almost word-for-word and these other three as well. So, all of these early translations were agreed on this verse, that it should have been translated “depart” instead of “fall away.” Now, that’s the point I want to make. Why the King James came in and used the words “falling away” I’ll never know, but it still means basically the same thing. But now read it in that light.
II Thessalonians 2:3a
“Let no man deceive you by any means: for that day (the Tribulation) cannot come except there come a departure first,…” And that word departure is used eleven times, if I’m not mistaken—by Luke in his Gospel, in the Book of Acts, and in Paul’s epistles. Eleven times it’s always translated to depart from one place to another.
So the departure here, as we’ve taught before—this is review. This departure then is the Body of Christ removed from one place to another—from earth to Heaven. All right, so unless there is a departure first:
II Thessalonians 2:3b
“…and that man of sin be revealed, (who, of course, is–) the son of perdition;” Then Paul goes on and explains that individual much like Daniel does back in chapter 11. So I want to make the point, that here we come to the end of this Dispensation of the Grace of God, the out-calling of the Body of Christ. We have to be taken out first, before the man of sin can be revealed to bring in those final seven years. Okay, that’s enough on that for now.
Now, let’s come back and sort of pick up where we left off in that first half hour, and let’s establish that from more portions of Scripture. It isn’t just Daniel who speaks of those final seven years. Come all the way back to Revelation chapter 11. We’re just going to establish this period of seven years, so that you can’t say, “Well, you’re just using one verse back there in Daniel” and so forth. No, all of Scripture alludes to a seven year period. Revelation chapter 11 and come down to verse 2.
“But the court which is without the temple leave out, (That’s with regard to that Tribulation Temple.) and measure it not; for it is given unto the Gentiles: and the holy city (Jerusalem) they shall tread under foot forty and two months.” How long is forty-two months? Well, that’s three-and-a-half years. This is the second three-and-a-half. We’re going to go look at the first three-and-a-half in a minute. All right, here we have three-and-a-half years, verse 3.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses and they shall prophesy (or speak forth) a thousand two hundred and sixty days,…” How long is 1,260 days? Forty-two months. How long is forty-two months? Three-and-a-half years. See how all these numbers fit.
Now, come on over to chapter 12 verse 6. We’re speaking of the escaping remnant, which we’re going to be looking at. I’m just establishing now, I hope I’m making sense, that this seven years cannot start until the Church departs. But once it starts, it’s seven years. It is 1,260 days, 42 months—and another 1,260 days, 42 months, for a total of seven years.
“And the woman (Israel, the Remnant) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they (the Godhead) should feed her there a thousand two hundred and sixty days.” Twelve hundred and sixty days is what? Forty-two months. Forty-two months is three-and-a-half years. Then you come on down to verse 14, still in chapter 12.
“And to the woman (this escaping remnant of Israel) were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, (one year) and times, (two, for a total of three) and a half a time, from the face of the serpent.” And we have this over and over throughout Scripture, that we have a seven year period of time.
Now come back with me, and we’ll go to the Lord Jesus Himself. And my goodness, if you can’t believe Him, then you are in tough shape. If you can’t believe the Prince of Glory, if you can’t believe the Creator of the Universe, why then, I don’t know, you might as well fold it up and forget about it. Matthew 24, which I have maintained for 30 some years, is all Tribulation. It’s all prophecy concerning these final seven years. All right, since we’re in it anyway, I’m going to bring you down to verse 14, because this all fits. Israel is going to be the core of all this activity in Jerusalem, and the Temple is going to be rebuilt. The 144,000 Jews are going to be commissioned to go out and take salvation to the ends of the earth. What Gospel are they going to be preaching?
You know, there again, I had a letter a while back. I don’t know if these people hear me repeat their letters or not. So be it. But he wrote me and said, “Les, I don’t want to go in the Rapture. I want to stay here and witness and see people saved.” Why, the poor fellow, doesn’t he know he’s going to be ashes before he even gets his mouth open? And the Gospel of Grace won’t be valid. It won’t do him any good to go out and preach our Gospel, because it’s not going to be under the Gospel of Grace. Here it is now. The Lord Jesus Himself—if you’ve got a red letter edition, it’s in red. Verse 14 and He says:
“And this gospel of the kingdom…” In other words, that which He and the Twelve were preaching.
And what was the Gospel of the Kingdom? That Jesus Christ was the promised Messiah, and He’s going to bring in the Kingdom. That’s what going to be preached. Well, now isn’t that logical. Seven years from this point in time He’s going to stand on the Mount of Olives. He’s going to set up His Kingdom and in will come the 1,000 years. Well, isn’t that good news? Well, sure it is! That’s the good news of the Kingdom. That’s what He preached in His first Advent, and that’s why He used the word this! And this gospel that He and the Twelve are preaching at the time,
“And this gospel of the kingdom (Not the Gospel of the Grace of God that Paul preached, and that we teach.) shall be preached in all the world…” So, it’s not going to be confined to Israel. It’s going to go into every tongue and tribe and nation so that there will be candidates for the Kingdom from every Nation on earth to reestablish the population.
“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” How’s the end going to come? His Second Coming—He’s going to come and stand on the Mount of Olives. The horrors of what we saw in our last taping will have been consummated, and the earth will be made ready as the Garden of Eden. But getting back to our seven year time frame, go on into verse 15.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation,…” That’s the anti-Christ when he goes into the Temple in the middle of the Tribulation. As Daniel said in chapter 9, he will go in, and he will cause it to be defiled. And it will remain that way until the seven years are ended. Jesus is referring to it.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, (and you see that individual) stand in the holy place, (In the Temple, remember.) (whoso readeth, let him understand:) 16. Then let them who be in Judea flee to the mountains:” We’ll cover that in a later program. I don’t want to do that just at this point in time.
But see, here we have the establishment of a seven year period of time that is exactly like what we’ve got on the board. Three-and-a-half years, three-and-a-half years—and that, of course, will be ended with His Second Coming, and He’ll bring in the Kingdom. Now, whenever I teach Revelation, you’ve heard me say it before, the easiest way to understand these final seven years and all the events is to take the events at the opening, in the mid-point, and at the end and then fill in the details.
All right, so we’re going to concentrate this afternoon on the opening events of this final seven years of time as we know it. And that, of course, would have to be the appearance of the man anti-Christ. All right, turn with me now to Revelation chapter 6. We’re not going to stay there very long. Just for a little bit in verse 1 and then we’re going to have to chase down some information.
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals,…” Now lock that word in. The “seal,” just like when you seal a letter. I always immediately think of the revenue stamps at the courthouse. You stick those revenue stamps on and it designates an official act, doesn’t it? All right, now that’s what this is. We’re going to look at it just a minute.
“And I saw when the Lamb opened one of the seals, and I heard, as it were the noise of thunder, one of the four creatures saying, Come and see. 2. And I saw, and behold a (What?) white horse:…” Not the white horse of Christ at His Second Coming in chapter 19, but a counterfeit. And who is the master counterfeit in Revelation? The anti-Christ under satanic power. So, this is the appearance of the anti-Christ which will open that seven year period of time. It can’t open until he is revealed, because he is going to unlock the seven years and this first seal on this scroll.
All right, now we’d better go back, and we’ve done it before. A lot of this is review, of course. Just back up a page to chapter 5. What kind of a seal are we talking about? Well, it’s a scroll. And that scroll was sealed much like we would an envelope, but instead of with just the lap and the glue, it was sealed with seven seals so that it wouldn’t unroll.
Okay, Revelation chapter 5, now I love teaching this. I can’t help it! I just think it is so vivid. It’s just such a beautiful picture. Verse 1:
“And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne (Who’s on the throne? God the Father or God the Son? Well, God the Father. God the Son isn’t sitting on a throne. He’s at the right hand. So here we have a picture of God the Father on the throne, and He has–) a scroll written within (on the inside where nobody could read it) and on the outside, sealed with seven seals.”
Now, can you picture that? That shouldn’t be too difficult. Here you’ve got a papyrus laid out, and they write out all the details of a what? Mortgage. Yeah! I like to read lips. A mortgage. What kind of a mortgage? Satan’s. Well, when did Satan get the mortgage on planet earth? Wow, here we go, Genesis. Now, isn’t this fun? It better be! Otherwise, I might as well go home. Genesis chapter 1 and drop in at verse 28. Now, I know we’ve done all this before, but some of it was probably 17 years ago.
“And God blessed them, (That is Adam and Eve.) and God said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have (What?) dominion…” Now I think most people think that was over the Garden of Eden. No. How much dominion did he have? Everything is God’s creation. It was all under Adam and Eve’s control. They were given total dominion. That’s what it says.
“…and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” That was the realm of their dominion. But what happened? Come over to chapter 3 verse 6. Now, I know this is all old hat to you, but it still bears repeating.
“And when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, (The one that the Lord said “Thou shalt not eat of it,” remember?) and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat, and gave also unto her husband with her; (Adam) and he did eat. 7. And the eyes of them both were opened, and they knew that they were naked; and they sewed fig leaves together, and made themselves aprons.”
All right, what happened? Adam dropped the ball. Right? In a simple act of disobedience, he dropped the ball. Now, when he dropped the ball, what did he lose? Dominion. He was no longer in control. He was now under the curse. But, oh my goodness, beloved, who picked up the ball? Satan did. And he’s been running for a touchdown ever since. Now, you think I’m kidding? Jump back up to the New Testament. Go to II Corinthians chapter 4 and verses 3 and 4.
II Corinthians 4:3-4
“But if our gospel be hid, (That is our Gospel of salvation in this Age of Grace.) it is hid to them that are lost: 4. In whom (That is in the lost of this world.) the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them who believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them.” Who’s the god of this world? Satan. Since when? Since he picked up the ball that Adam dropped.
Now come back with me to Matthew—Matthew chapter 4 verse 8. Now, I hope you’re having as much fun as I am. You know, one of the best seminars I ever did I was sick as a dog out in Indianapolis all day. But I tell you what, I told those people, I am sick as a dog, but I’m having fun. Because when you get this Book opening up and see how it all fits, it is fun. I’m sure you’ve all worked a jigsaw puzzle and all of a sudden a whole bunch falls in place. My, it gets exciting. Well, it is the same way here. All right, we’ve got to do it quickly. Forty seconds.
“Again, the devil (Satan) taketh him (Jesus) up into an exceeding high mountain, and showeth him all the kingdoms of the world, (That is from stem to stern, all of them.) and the glory of them; 9. And saith unto him, All these things will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me.” Now, how do I always put it? Were all the kingdoms of this world his to give? Yes!
LESSON ONE * PART III
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Tribulation)
Good to see everybody back again from another coffee break. For those of you joining us on television, if you’re ever in the Eastern Oklahoma area and it’s the first part of the month, call us. Maybe you can come in for a taping. We’ve got folks here today from Tennessee, Kansas, and my kids are down from Wisconsin. We just know that people love to come in and spend an afternoon with us.
All right, we’re going to go right back to where we left off. We’re talking about bringing in the Tribulation—that final seven years. By the time the Tribulation begins, the Church is gone, and we have the appearance of the anti-Christ who signs the seven year peace treaty.
We saw from Revelation chapter 6 verse 1 that the anti-Christ is going to make his appearance. We were looking at the word “seal” in the last lesson, like sealing an envelope or sealing a document. Then I took you back to Revelation chapter 5. That’s where we’re going to pick up again this half hour—in Revelation 5. We’re going to pick up this seal, or these seals, that are on this scroll that is really a symbolic mortgage.
That’s why I took you back. How did Satan end up holding the mortgage on planet earth? Well, because the curse fell as soon as Adam fell, and Satan has been the god of this world for 6,000 years. I showed you the evidence of it. Paul said it is the god of this world who keeps people blind.
I showed you how Satan offered to Jesus all the kingdoms of this world—because under this present economy, he is the god of this world. But never forget, God is Sovereign. He’s still above Satan. But He’s been letting him have free reign for these last 6,000 years. But his day is coming. God is going to pay off his mortgage with all the horrors and the wrath of God in that final seven year period. That’s the whole purpose of it, along with chastising His Covenant People. So, back to Revelation chapter 5, picking up the symbolism of a mortgage. We might as well start over in verse 1.
“And I saw in the right hand of him who sat on the throne a scroll written within and on the backside, and sealed with seven seals. (Picture them as they go down the line of that scroll.) 2. And I saw a strong angel proclaiming with a loud voice, Who is worthy to open the scroll, and to loose (take off) the seals thereof (off of that mortgage)?”
“And no man in heaven, nor in earth, neither under the earth, was able to open the scroll, neither to look thereon. (They were not qualified. They did not have the wherewithal to even consider paying off this mortgage.) 4. And I wept much, (John says) because no man was found worthy to open and to read the scroll, neither to look thereon. 5. And one of the elders saith unto me, Weep not: behold, the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, hath prevailed to open the scroll, and to loose the seven seals thereof.”
Now as I’m reading, I’m thinking, naturally. I’ve got to bring you back to Daniel chapter 7. Again, I always do this only to show how beautifully Scripture fits with Scripture. It’s not just some boondoggle that men have put together. It’s not some story around the campfire like they try to tell us. But this is the Divinely Inspired, Intrinsic, Word of God.
“I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man (The word Son is capitalized, so it’s a reference to Christ.) came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, (Which would be another title for God the Father.) and they brought him (That is God the Son.) before him (the Father).”
“And there was given unto him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Now, when you come back to Revelation, this is the beginning of the end of time as we know it. But it’s the beginning of the beginning of the eternal.
So now we have to go through those seven years of wrath and vexation to lift the curse and to pay off Satan’s mortgage—now verse 6 of Revelation chapter 5.
“And I beheld, and, lo, in the midst of the throne and of the four creatures, and in the midst of the elders, stood a Lamb (See, there’s the same term again that we’ve seen before—the Lamb of God, God the Son.) as it had been slain, having seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven Spirits of God sent forth into all the earth. 7. And he (God the Son) came and took the scroll (this mortgage) out of the right hand of him who sat upon the throne.”
Now of course, when we taught the Book of Ruth, we made the comparison how it was the same way back in antiquity when a piece of ground was mortgaged. It had to be the next of kin who could pay off the mortgage. It couldn’t be a stranger, because it had to stay in the family. We have the same thing here. God the Son comes forward having all the requirements. He has the power to pay off Satan’s mortgage and to pay off the curse on planet earth.
Now, if you come over to chapter 11 in Revelation, I maintain, and I realize there are probably hundreds of books written on the Book of Revelation. And I don’t suppose any two of them would agree on every detail, so I don’t expect everyone to agree with me. But I’m going to teach it the way I see it. I feel that while the anti-Christ is signing this seven year treaty in one part of Jerusalem, across town there’s another totally different scenario, but I think on the exact same day—the opening day of the seven years. While the anti-Christ and the leaders of the Arab world and Israel are putting together their seven year treaty, in another part of Jerusalem we have this scenario—the appearance of the two witnesses. I’ll show you in a little bit why I put it at the opening day.
“And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy (or speak forth or preach or proclaim) a thousand two hundred and sixty days. (That has to be from the opening day to the mid-point that Jesus talked about in Matthew 24, for a total of 3½ years.) clothed in sackcloth. 4. These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth.” Now, a lot of people name them. I don’t even try. I’m not going to stick my neck out, because the Bible doesn’t tell us who they are, even though there seemingly are some clues. But since the Bible doesn’t name them, I’m not going to. We’re just going to leave it as two Jewish witnesses.
Yes, it could be Moses and Elijah. It could be Elijah and Enoch or any two of those three according to the details. But I’m not going to stick my neck out. I’m just going to leave it as two witnesses. And they’re going to speak forth for the first three-and-a-half years. Now verse 4 again:
“These are the two olive trees, and the two candlesticks standing before the God of the earth. (But He’s also the God of everything.) 5. And if any man would hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies: and if any man will hurt them, he must in this manner be killed.”
Now I’m going to repeat again. As soon as we start this seven year period of time, right from the opening bell, we’re in the realm of the supernatural. Don’t forget that. To sign that treaty is going to be a supernatural power of God to get all the parties to agree. Otherwise, it would never happen. These two witnesses are going to appear supernaturally. If it is two of these three characters in the Old Testament, then all the more reason to accept the supernatural, but whatever. Don’t ever lose sight of these things, because these seven years are going to be way beyond the norm.
“These (two, whoever they are) have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: (Now that’s why some scholars feel it’s Elijah, because that’s what he did. He caused a drought of three years in Israel’s history. And then the other one is like unto Moses.) and have power over waters to turn them to blood, and (They’re going to have power–) to smite the earth with all plagues, as often as they will.” Now, that’s the horrors of those opening three-and-a-half years.
They’re not going to be like a Sunday school picnic, as I mentioned I think in the last taping. You’ve got to remember, those first three-and-a-half years, even though they are nothing compared to the last three-and-a-half years, yet it’s going to be an awful period of time. One fourth of the world’s population will be gone by the middle of these seven years. Now that’s 1.75 billion people! That’s a lot of human flesh. One point seven five billion will be gone by the middle of these seven years.
“And when they shall have finished their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them, (In other words, this is the appearance of Satan in the empowered anti-Christ.) and shall overcome them, and (finally) kill them.” That’s at the end of the three-and-a-half years.
“And their dead bodies shall lie in the street of the great city, which spiritually is called Sodom and Egypt, (That’s another term for Jerusalem.) where also our Lord was crucified. 9. And they of the people and kindreds and tongues (or languages) and nations (in other words, globally, from one end of the globe to the other) shall see their dead bodies three days and a half,…”
Now you know, when we first came in with satellite television I thought, well now, that’s total fulfillment of this. But now one of my kids or grandkids the other day said, “Oh, Grandpa, it’s one thing better. Now what has everybody got? Cell phones.” And you know what I read the other day? I read a lot, you all know that. Fifty percent of the world’s population already owns their own cell phone. In other words, that is almost three and a half billion cell phones out there.
I was in the airport the other day, and it just boggled my mind. Everybody in that airport was talking on their cell phone. Well, I have to wonder. Who keeps the lines from getting crossed, but seemingly they never do. But, you see, the technology is all here to fulfill this Book. Without the technology, this wouldn’t mean anything to us. But now we know what it is. Everyone is going to see these two bodies lying on the streets of Jerusalem whatever time of the day it may be.
“…and shall not permit their dead bodies to be put in graves. 10. And they that dwell upon the earth shall rejoice over them, and make merry,…” They’re going to be so glad that these two prophets are dead, because what do you suppose the devil’s message is going to be? All of our problems are because of these two guys. If it weren’t for all their preaching, we wouldn’t have all this turmoil. We wouldn’t have all these plagues. So when the earth hears that they’re dead, they’re going to celebrate just like Christmas, and they’ll send each other gifts. But they won’t be put in the grave. That again, is a God-thing, because they’re going to rise from the dead at the end of three-and-a-half days—verse 11.
“And after three days and a half the Spirit of life from God (the supernatural) entered into them, and they stood upon their feet; and great fear fell upon them who saw them. (Well, that, naturally, would turn their attitude, wouldn’t it?) 12. And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, Come up hither. And they ascended up to heaven in a cloud; and their enemies beheld them.” Nothing they could do. I mean, they’re gone. All right, now this brings us up to the middle of the seven years, or the end of 1,260 days—now verse 13.
“And the same hour (at this very point in the middle of the Tribulation) there was a great earthquake, (in the area of Jerusalem) and the tenth part of the city fell, and in the earthquake were slain of men seven thousand: (Which, again, is a pretty good size number for a city the size of Jerusalem.) and the (What’s the word?) remnant (Now lock that one in. Underline it. Highlight it.) were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
Now, from what we’ve seen in the first half hour this afternoon, what is this remnant representative of? It’s the one third of Israel that we saw back there in Jeremiah and Zechariah that will survive these last seven years. We can chase them down again in a minute. But for now, underline the word “remnant,” this one third of Israel.
Now most of you, I think, realize that the population of Jews in the world, the whole world—America, Russia, Canada, you name it—are fifteen million. How many are in Israel tonight? Five million. Now, this is strictly speculation! Does that mean that God already has pretty close to His five million for the one third? I don’t know, but it sure is tantalizing to think about. That we may be that close. That already that one third is in Israel.
Now, keep your hand in Revelation. I think I’ll be back. I’m not sure. Come back with me to Isaiah chapter 1 verse 9. I’m bringing you back here for the sake of one word.
“Except (or unless) the LORD of hosts (Which again is God the Son, or Jehovah, as Israel understood.) had left unto us (the nation of Israel) a very small (What?) remnant,…” Now goodness sakes, when did Isaiah hold forth? Well, about 700 B.C., about 300 years after King David. And how many, percentage-wise, of Israel were still righteous and believers? Only a small remnant. Now, you can put the percentage on it. Two percent. Three percent. Four, that’s all. And it’s always been this way.
All right, you come all the way up to Matthew 7 verse 13. Now, I may have used this not too long ago, and I’ll probably use it again not too far into the future. Because this is what we have to understand—this is where we are. We’re not going to see multitudes. We’re not going to see tsunamis of people become believers. It’s not going to happen, because God has never had more than the small percentage, a remnant. All right, Matthew 7 verse 13, verses that you know. You learned them back in Sunday school.
“Enter ye in at the straight gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be who go in thereat: (That is in the wide gate.) 14. Because straight is the gate, and narrow is the way, that leadeth unto life, (eternal life) and few there be that find it.”
Again, what’s the word for the few? The remnant! God has always, all the way up through history including the Church Age, had His remnant. Not the masses. The remnant. And we can see it more and more today as our denominations are going more and more liberal and getting further and further away from the Truth. But God is going to keep His remnant!!
Now, have you got your hand in Revelation, yet? Flip back to it a minute. Just for a minute, then we’re going to go up to Matthew—so if you’ve got Matthew, goodness sakes, keep it. We’re coming right back to Matthew. But go back to Revelation 11 where we just left off in verse 13. This is at the very mid-point after the 1,260 days of the preaching of these two witnesses who have been put to death, been raised back, and called up to Glory.
“And the same hour (that same mid-point) there was a great earthquake,…(there in Jerusalem)…the remnant were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.” Who are they leaving out? Jesus Christ.
Now most, at least of Americans and the Western Civilization, do they believe in God? Most? Sure. Yeah, they believe in God. They have some concept of God, anyway. But is that what they need for salvation? Well, of course not. You don’t get saved by believing in God. You have to have a relationship with God the Son, Jesus the Christ. You get that by believing in your heart that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again, as we see in I Corinthians 15:1-4. It is the same way here. I look at this escaping remnant. They’re going to flee from Jerusalem, now, as a result of the earthquake in particular. But they’re going to flee in unbelief. But God in His grace and mercy is going to keep His thumb on them.
Now come back with me to Matthew 24. I don’t know if I’ll have time to finish all of this in this half hour. Otherwise, it will just go on into the next program. But now Matthew 24 again, where we were earlier this afternoon. Jesus is speaking to the Twelve. All of this is with regard to the Tribulation as it pertains to the Nation of Israel. Now don’t forget about that remnant.
“When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)” Now again, just for a quick review. I won’t make you go back there. What did Daniel 9 say? That in the middle of that week, in the middle of the seven years, the anti-Christ is going to go into that Temple that Israel has enjoyed for three-and-a-half years, and he’s going to defile it.
He’s just utterly going to shut it down. He’s going to turn on the Nation of Israel like no persecutor has ever done. Hitler will be nothing but a Sunday school figure comparatively. The anti-Christ is going to bring in all the hatred at his command upon the Nation of Israel. So, consequently, God is going to spare His remnant, as we saw in the first half hour. That remnant is what? One third. One third of Israel will be supernaturally taken out of the city to a place of safety. All right, now Jesus tells about it Himself.
“Then let them who be in Judea (that’s Jerusalem) flee into the mountains: (Now there’s a lot of speculation of what mountains, but whatever. They’re going to flee Jerusalem.) 17. Let him who is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:” Well, now again, just use a little imagination. Here you’ve got somebody that’s got a lot of beautiful things. My, when he realizes that it’s time to flee, the inclination will be to take something with him. But the Scripture says, don’t you do it. You haven’t got time. He says, don’t even think about taking something along.
“Neither let him who is in the field return back to take his clothes.” Now you’ve heard me qualify this. At the time of Christ, Israel was an agricultural nation. They were probably 95% rural and agrarian. They had their flocks and their orchards and their fields and so forth.
Today, of course, Israel is cosmopolitan, and it’s urban. Very few percentage-wise are in agriculture. So the segment of society we’re talking about today will be all the professional people—the business people of Tel Aviv and Jerusalem and Haifa and what have you. All right, so let them who are of the working class, those who are still out there making their living—“Neither let him in the field return back to take his clothes.” In other words, time is of the essence, isn’t it? All right, now we come over to the female side of the population.
“And woe unto them who are with child, (Repeat the word woe. Woe–) and to them that are nursing in those days! (Carrying their little ones. And then horror of horrors–) 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day:” Now even this last winter, you know, Israel had some pretty nasty weather.
They had a lot of snow, and they had cold miserable days. Well, pray that it won’t be in that kind of a weather situation, and also that it’s not on the Sabbath day. Well, why? Well, because they’re back under the Law.
Now of course, an Orthodox Jew today still holds the Sabbath. But Israel in general could care less. But on this particular event, they’re going to be all practitioners of Temple worship once again. They have been now for three-and-one-half years. So the Lord says, hope and pray that it won’t be on a Sabbath day, so that they’ll be free to go to their place of safety. All right, now then verse 21:
“For then (from that point on to the end) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.” In other words, it’s going to be beyond our human comprehension.
Now, I’ve shown you verses over and over. I think I’ve got time. One of the most graphic, of course, is back in Jeremiah. We used it several times lately. But let me use it again, if I may. Jeremiah 25 and that will take us to the end of the half hour. This is just an inkling of the end of those three-and-a-half years. I’m going to have to read rather quickly.
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth;…” And you’ve heard me say it. I think this is nuclear. All these hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of hydrogen bombs that are stockpiled around the world will finally come into play. They’re not back there for nothing. They’re not being collected just to be collecting. They are going to be used.
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, He will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, (that is death) saith the LORD. 32. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind (Which is another indication of nuclear force.) shall be raised up from the borders of the earth.” Now verse 33, if this isn’t graphic, I don’t know what is.
“And the slain of the LORD shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung (trash) upon the ground.”
LESSON ONE * PART IV
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Tribulation)
For those of you joining us on television, again, we’d like to invite you to what I think is a simple Bible study. We try to make the difficult things simple and interesting. And again, we want to thank you for your prayer support, financial support, and your mail. We read every letter. The other night it took us to midnight almost, didn’t it, honey? Boy, we had a bunch the other day. So anyway, we just want you to search the Scriptures and study them. And be prepared to answer questions that are thrown your way, because after all, that’s what we’re here for. We’re ambassadors, and we are to share our position in Christ.
We’re going to go back and pick up the remnant of Israel that’s going to flee to the mountains as we saw Jesus warn them in Matthew 24 in our last program. It’s going to be a mixed group of people. And I’m emphasizing that because a lot of people confuse this escaping remnant with the 144,000, which is also a remnant. Hopefully in this half hour we’ll separate those two entities that are not the same. This remnant that Jesus talks about in Matthew 24 and what Revelation 11 and 12 are taking about is a cross section of Israeli society. After all, the whole idea of this remnant is to be there and ready to go into the Kingdom. And you want to remember, Israel is going to be the largest nation in the Kingdom because of their largest number of entrants.
We’re going to have, as we saw earlier this afternoon, one third of Israel’s population—which would be around five million if it’s in the near future. That will be far more than from any other single nation on earth, although there will be a scattering from every nation. This remnant of Israel, which will be one third of the total or around five million, is going to be supernaturally protected by God out in some sort of a wilderness situation where all the horrors of the Tribulation will not touch them.
But I feel that they go out in unbelief, and they will become a saved nation when they see Christ returning. When they see Him coming in all of His power and glory, every last Jew in this remnant will become a believer. We will, hopefully, have time to show that before the afternoon is over. So, if you’ll come back in with me to Revelation chapter 11, we’ll repeat the last part of verse 13.
“…and the remnant were affrighted, (Because of all that’s happened as well as the earthquake.) and gave glory to the God of heaven.”
I feel that will be as they are supernaturally escorted out of the city. Never forget what Jesus said in Matthew 24, that you’ve got the people living on the housetop, which I feel are the retired, the wealthy who are pretty well set. The instructions are, don’t take anything from your house – just get going. You’ve got the working class, and you’ve got the young mothers and the children and so forth. So, you have a complete cross section in this remnant of the one third that we saw back in Jeremiah and Zechariah.
Now let’s pick them up across the page in my Bible, anyway—Revelation chapter 12 verse 6. Now remember, the woman is now going to be considered the whole nation of Israel, even as Paul spoke of the woman in Romans chapter 11. They become the whole even though there are only a third of them left.
“And the woman (This one third I feel that are escaping from the area of Jerusalem.) fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, (a supernatural thing) that they (the Godhead) should feed her there (out in this wilderness situation) for a thousand two hundred and three score days.” Three-and-a-half years—from the mid-point until the end.
Now keep my beginnings and endings straight. The anti-Christ opens the seven years back there in Revelation 6 verse 1, and the two witnesses appear. Three-and-a-half years took us to the mid-point, when the anti-Christ went into the Temple and defiled it. This ended the first three-and-a-half years.
All right, now at the beginning of this second half, we have this escaping remnant. They are going to be protected for another 1,260 days, which takes you to the end of the Tribulation. And when they get to the end and Christ returns, they’ll be ready to go in and enjoy a refurbished, regenerated, and reconstituted—those are all words the Scripture uses—which prepare the earth like a Garden of Eden for this 1,000 year Kingdom reign.
All right, so God prepares a place, and they’re going to be fed there for 1,260 days or three-and-a-half years. Now, the interesting part of the flight is in verse 13, still in chapter 12.
“And when the dragon (That’s another name for Satan. Remember, he is working hand and glove with the man anti-Christ.) saw that he was cast unto the earth, (out of heaven for the last time) he persecuted the woman (this remnant of Israel) which brought forth the man child.” Now verse 14 is God’s intervention.
“And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, (the one spoken of in verse 6) where she is nourished for a time (one year), and times (plus two years), and half a time (half a year), from the face of the serpent. 15. And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.”
Now you’ve got to remember that this is all language of symbolism. And what we have to put to this is a reality. So, since Satan and the anti-Christ are in control of everything, and they see this fleeing remnant of the Jews, what are they going to do? They’re going to send out a command to some military to go and destroy these escaping Jews headed for the wilderness. Now, before I go back to Exodus, we’re going to finish this account. So read on, if you will, in verse 15.
“And the serpent (That is Satan, who is, like I said, using the man anti-Christ.) cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood.” Well, that’s just a military command to go and destroy these escaping Jews. Now verse 16, supernaturally now, don’t lose that—supernaturally.
“And the earth helped the woman, (this escaping remnant) and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood (Or that military contingent that the anti-Christ has sent out after them. The earth opens up and swallows up this group of military.) which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” It just simply and utterly destroys them.
Now what we have to do is go back to Exodus and understand that this is just a repeat of what has happened before. Exodus chapter 19 and this is, of course, after Israel has gone through the Red Sea. The Red Sea closed over the Egyptian military and destroyed every one of them without the loss of a single Jew. Now they’re safely encamped around Mount Sinai, and Moses goes up into the mountain to meet with God. Verse 3 and as you read, constantly compare this with Revelation. Revelation is just a repeat under a little different circumstance. But on the whole, it’s the same thing as you have here.
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; (Now watch it.) 4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, (What did He do? He drowned them all in the Red Sea.) and how I bare you (the Jews out of Egypt) on (What?) eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself.” Well, we’ve got to stop now and be careful. They didn’t fly, did they? No.
They walked. But it was a supernatural exodus that got them ahead of the Egyptian armies. Far enough that they never touched even the rear echelons of the Jews. And it was a miraculous thing that brought them all the way out to Mount Sinai after the Red Sea experience. The Scripture calls it “on eagles’ wings.” Well, it’ll be the same thing for this escaping remnant at the middle of the Tribulation. They’re going to escape out of Jerusalem and Judea just as miraculously as they did coming out of Egypt. So the language is the same. “I bare you on eagle’s wings, and brought you unto myself.”
Now come back to Revelation 12 just for a moment, again. We find that they have been brought to this place of safety where Jesus said they would be protected until the end of the Tribulation. Now back in Revelation 12 where we just left off, verse 17—after he sees the destruction of his military force and not the loss of a single Jew, he knows that he cannot do anything more with them, because God is still greater than Satan. Now he turns his anger. Verse 17:
“And the dragon (Satan) was angry with the woman, (That is this nation as a whole.) and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, (But now here’s a different remnant than the one that Satan just missed. This is a remnant–) who keep the commandments of God, and (keep, or) have the testimony of Jesus Christ.” Now what remnant is this? Well, this is the 144,000.
This is not the escaping remnant that we just read about that escaped as on eagle wings—which went out in unbelief. They’ll stay there in unbelief until they see Christ coming, and then they will believe to the last Jew. I feel that’s what Isaiah 66 means when it says, “will Israel be born in a day?” Yes. When that whole five million to the last Jew will become believers, and not a one will be lost. Now, I told you I would show you where I get that. I imagine I should do that before I go into the 144,000. Let’s do that a minute.
Go back to John’s Gospel chapter 21, and drop in at verse 4. This is in that period of time between His resurrection and the ascension. He has showed Himself visibly, physically, over and over. Now, the first thing I’ve got to define is that the Book of John has eight sign miracles. Eight! And they are sign miracles because of the Greek term Semion. Now, all the other miracles were not necessarily signs. All signs were miracles, but not all miracles were signs.
Now, a sign for Israel was something that proved to them miraculously that God was in it. This wasn’t a thing that would happen on the ordinary, everyday life. It was a sign, so it was miraculous. All right, now in the Book of John, we have eight of those miracles. They were all signs. Now, the first seven took place before His crucifixion. This one takes place after the crucifixion and resurrection. Now, if you know numbers in Scripture, seven is the number of completion. Eight is the number of new beginnings. So here we have, I feel, an indication of the new beginnings of the Kingdom, in which not a single Jew will be lost. All right, let’s look at it, verse 5 of John 21.
“Then Jesus saith unto them, Children, have ye any meat? (Or food. Have you caught any fish?) They answered him, No. 6. And he said unto them, Cast the net on the right side of the ship, and ye shall find. They cast therefore, and now they were not able to draw it for the multitude of fishes. 7. Therefore that disciple whom Jesus loved (Who I feel is John.) saith unto Peter, It is the Lord. Now when Simon Peter heard that it was the Lord, he girt his fisher’s coat unto him, (for he was naked,)…” Now, he wasn’t stark naked, but he was probably down to what we call underclothes.
“…and he did cast himself into the sea. 8. And the other disciples came in a little ship; (for they were not far from land, but as it were two hundred cubits,) dragging the net with fishes. 9. As soon then as they were come to land, they saw a fire of coals there, and fish laid thereon, and bread. 10. Jesus saith unto them, Bring of the fish which ye have now caught. (Now here’s the key.) 11. Simon Peter went up, and drew the net to land full of great fishes, an hundred and fifty and three: (I know there’s more there than meets the eye, but here’s what I want you to see.) and for all there were so many, yet the net was not broken.”
Now, you remember in other instances when they had a net full of fish, what happened? The net broke. But the miraculous part of this is the net should have broken, but it didn’t. Since it’s the eighth sign, and we’re now looking at the Kingdom over the horizon, I feel that this is the sign to Israel that this remnant that’s going to be spared in those last three-and-a-half years will all become believers when they see the coming Christ. Not a single one will fail to believe. So the whole net full of Israelites will be brought into the Kingdom experience.
It’s kind of exciting to realize that this miraculous thing takes place, and yet you can reduce it to what we can understand and see what will happen day-by-day in Israel’s experience.
Now then, let’s go back and look at the other remnant. This is the remnant that Satan is now going to concentrate on for these last three-and-a-half years, or nearly so. Because I feel that these men will be raptured up shortly before the end of the Tribulation. Come with me to Revelation chapter 7. This is the other remnant. The first remnant was a cross section of Israel—men, women, boys, girls, wealthy people, common people—just a cross section of society. This is a remnant of young Jewish men—twelve thousand from each of the Twelve Tribes.
Revelation chapter 7 and drop down to verse 9. In verses 4 through 8 we have twelve thousand from such and such a tribe, and we wind up with 144,000.
“After this (After the sealing of these 144,000 young Jewish men.) I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, (Now watch where they’re coming from.) of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and languages, stood before the throne,…” Because as fast as they become believers in this final three-and-a-half years, they’ll be martyred. They will not live to see the light of a second day.
So John already sees the result of the ministry of these 144,000 Jews as they were able to circumvent the land. Now again, it’s miraculous. Do they have to go to language school? No. They’ll know every tongue and tribe and language that they approach. Will they have to fight the airports? No. They’re going to supernaturally go from place to place, and no one can put them the death! Because that’s the purpose of their sealing. They may suffer privation, but no one will be able to put them to death.
But due to the preaching of the 144,000, the converts who have become believers in this Kingdom Gospel—now, remember, it’s not our Gospel of Grace. That ended with the Rapture of the Body of Christ just before the Tribulation began. These Tribulation believers have believed the Kingdom Gospel—which is, the King is coming. And that’s what they’re to believe. So here they are in heaven from every tongue and tribe and nation, and then we find, as you drop down to verses 13 and 14–
“And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these (or who are these) who are arrayed in white robes? and where did they come from? 14. And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they who came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. 15. Therefore are they before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple: and he that sitteth on the throne shall dwell among them.”
All right, now the 144,000 will minister to the nations of the world throughout most of the seven years. I think they’ll be raised up and raptured sometime before the final weeks. Come back with me now to Isaiah 24. Here we’re at the final end of the seven years. Everything has been destroyed. There’s nothing left except a few survivors. I think I’ve got time. Let’s read all the way from verse 1.
Behold, the LORD maketh the earth empty,…” Now, this is the result of the seven years of the horrors of the Tribulation. I think the final month is going to be a nuclear holocaust like none of us can imagine.
“Behold the LORD maketh the earth empty, and maketh it waste, and turneth it upside down, and scattereth abroad the inhabitants thereof. 2. And it shall be, as with the people, so with the priest; as with the servant, so with his master;…” The whole cross section of society is mentioned here in verse 2.
“The land shall be utterly emptied, and utterly spoiled: for the LORD hath spoken this word.” There will be nothing left. I always have to stop and ask people. You know that during the 1,000 year Kingdom, it’s going to be heaven on earth. Now think about that. Heaven on this earth. Gambling casinos in heaven? Why, heavens, no! What’s going to happen? Puff! They’re going. And all the other garbage that is associated with the world society, would that fit in heaven? No. So common sense tells you God is going to have to cleanse the planet of all of it. Everything that man has contrived is going to have to go. God’s going to make it all new. “The land shall be utterly empty.”
Now I envision it, and this is strictly my own idea. I can’t prove this from Scripture. I can come close, but I can’t really prove it. I see everything reduced to ashes like Hiroshima and Nagasaki were in 1945. Everything! Then God will miraculously bring it all back to the beauty of Mount St. Helen’s. Now that’s another one. I think God sent Mount St. Helen’s just to show us what He can do. How long did it take until Mount St. Helen’s was almost more beautiful than it was before? A year or two under ordinary circumstances. Look what God can do with the supernatural as the Garden of the LORD reappears as we see in Isaiah 51:3
So, the planet will be regenerated and reconstituted. Now these are scriptural words that happen in just a moment of time. But I think it’s going to be reduced to ashes with all the nuclear bombs that are being store-housed today. All right, back to our text in Isaiah 24:4.
“The earth mourneth and fadeth away, the world languisheth and fadeth away, the haughty people of the earth do languish. 5. The earth also is defiled under the inhabitants thereof; because they have transgressed the laws, (they’ve) changed the ordinance, (they’ve) broken the everlasting covenant.” In other words, they’ve flown in the face of God in everything they think, say, and do.
“Therefore hath the curse devoured the earth, and they that dwell therein are desolate: therefore the inhabitants of the earth are burned, (My, if that isn’t nuclear language, I don’t know what is. But what are the last three or four words?) and few men are left.” Well, what is that? All around the planet, here and there, there are going to be survivors. A few from every nation, I think, as we understand nations.
By the time we get to the end of the millennium, after 1,000 years of tremendous population explosion, is there just one nation? No. All the nations of the world are back in vogue. Well, where’d they come from? They come from the survivors of the Tribulation.
All right, it stands to reason. Just like today, you’ve got some believers; you’ve got some unbelievers. Well, it’s going to be the same way here at the end of the Tribulation. Not all these survivors are going to be believers, nor are they all unbelievers. So, what do we have to do? We’ve got two minutes to show you. Come back again to Matthew 25 verse 31. I’m going to have to do this quickly. Matthew 25 and here come these survivors of Isaiah 24.
“When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:” He’s going to assume the throne there in Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. He’s finally going to be on His throne. Verse 32, now remember, supernaturally again.
“And before him shall be gathered all nations: (Now, when the Scripture says all, it means all. So there will be survivors from every one of the hundred and forty some nations that are listed in the world today.) and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: 33. And he shall set the sheep (the believers) on his right hand, but the goats (unbelievers) on his left.”
“Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, (the believers of these survivors) Come, ye, blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:” Where do they go? Into the Kingdom!!! And, I think, back to their homeland.
So now the stage is set. You’ve got the remnant of Israel, the largest number. Then you’ve got the scattered survivors of all the other nations of the world. This is at the beginning of those 1,000 years. There’s no death, and it’ll be a tremendous population explosion. If I had time, I could take you back to Revelation chapter 20. I can’t do it. I’ve only got seconds. But get into Revelation 20:8, and when Satan is released, how many nations are represented? All of them!
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8. And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four corners of the earth,…”
LESSON TWO * PART I
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Kingdom)
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in again today. My goodness, we’ve got a full room. We’ve got folks from various places around the country. Again, we always appreciate the fact that you come in and are a part of this, not only by your presence, but by your prayers and your financial help. I think most of you in the room realize that your faces are familiar now from coast to coast. They just feel like you’re family.
For those of you out in television, if you’re catching us for the first time, we’re just an informal Bible study. We don’t try to get too theological. I want to keep it down at a level where kids can understand. You know, we had a letter the other day from some folks and their seven year old kid. I don’t remember whether it was a boy or a girl. The minute they hear our music, they come running. Got a couple here today with a little seven month old infant. They swear up and down that the little fellow already recognizes our music! So anyway, we just have to praise the Lord for the folks that we’re reaching with the Word. Like I said, I try to keep it simple and yet not just scratch the surface.
We want to get down into the deeper things. That’s why I’m so convinced that a lot of these things people have never heard before, because that’s the kind of comments we get. This is all new to them. I made reference to it once before. I had a fellow who called who had two Ph.D.’s in Theology. He said, “Les, how in the world after forty years in the pulpit and two degrees in Theology and I missed all of it!” He said he had never seen any of this before. Well, that’s why we’re going to keep teaching it the way we are.
All right, now ever since the beginning of Book 74, we’ve been connecting the dots of Scripture. Today we’re in the middle part of Book 77. We may wind this series of lessons up. We’ve been connecting the dots now for quite a long while. We started way back in Genesis connecting the dots and are now into the 1,000 year Kingdom portions of Scripture.
This study has not been detailed like we did in our Through the Bible Series. We are only hitting the highlights and just sort of covering the timeline from Genesis. We’re just about to the end. In our last taping, we were at the final days of the Tribulation and the horrors of it. So today I’m going to introduce that 1,000 year period of time that most of you have heard as the millennium. It’s the 1,000 year earthly Kingdom, which most of Christendom knows very little, if anything, about. They just don’t know what we’re talking about when we speak of the Kingdom.
Now you remember years and years ago, way back in one of the early programs. I made the statement “the Kingdom is the Kingdom”…you remember, don’t you, Jerry? People didn’t know what I was taking about. What are you talking about—the Kingdom is the Kingdom is the Kingdom? Well, you see the word in Scripture all the time. You see the Kingdom of God and the Kingdom of Heaven. But, they just don’t know the difference. About two years ago we did a series, you remember. Sharon drew the circles on the board. We had the big circle of the Kingdom of God. Inside the Kingdom of God she drew two small circles for me. One was the Body of Christ. The other was the Kingdom of Heaven.
All right, now whenever I speak of the Kingdom is the Kingdom is the Kingdom, I’m speaking about the Kingdom of Heaven—which is that earthly 1,000 year reign of Christ that’s going to be on the planet. It’s going to follow the horrors of the Tribulation. That’s where we left off in our last half hour—the final days and the death and destruction that will hit the planet. We feel soon. So today’s taping I want to take us back and reconstruct, again, the promises as well as the bringing in of that final 1,000 year Kingdom—Heaven on earth.
Heaven on earth—like I mentioned in a couple of my seminars lately, and I think I did at the Tulsa Bible Conference. If it’s going to be Heaven on earth, will there be any room for gambling casinos? Why, the Mississippi Gulf Coast will just have to be cleansed clean, because that’s all that’s down there anymore. All across the country the casinos are popping up everywhere. They won’t fit in a heavenly environment. So, what’s going to happen? Poof! They’re going to go—and not only the casinos, but everything else that smacks of the ungodly world.
But since we’re going to go back and reconstruct the promises of the Kingdom as Paul refers to it, I’m going to take you back to Exodus chapter 19 and verse 3. For a lot of you this is probably the 15th or 20th time you’ve heard me teach these verses. But it’s the only way we can start, because this is the place of first mention. The scenario, of course, is Israel has just come out of Egypt. They’ve crossed the Red Sea. They are gathered around Mt. Sinai. While they’re encamped around the mountain, God calls Moses up into the mountain.
All right, we pick it up in verse 3. Now get the scenario—just fresh out of Egypt. The nation has arrived as nationhood in Egypt, but yet this is really the beginning of all the promises and the putting of Israel under the Law. Verse 3:
“And Moses went up unto God, and the LORD called unto him out of the mountain, saying, Thus shalt thou say to the house of Jacob, and tell the children of Israel; 4. Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, (this recent crossing of the Red Sea) and how I bare you (the Nation) on eagles’ wings, and brought you unto myself. 5. Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant,…”
Now that’s a word that we used quite extensively a couple or three years ago—all the covenants between God and Israel beginning with the Covenant with Abraham and then this Covenant of Law and the Covenant with David and so forth (found in Book 63).
“…and keep my covenant, (covenant of Law) then ye (The Nation—never forget who we’re talking to.) shall be a peculiar treasure (That is a treasure of intrinsic value.) unto me above all people: (So, that’s what puts Israel in their, what we call, the favored nation or the chosen people category.) for all the earth is mine:” Now, here comes the verse I was heading for.
“And ye (the Nation of Israel) shall be unto me a (What’s the next word?) kingdom…” Now, if I’m not mistaken, this is the first mention of this word Kingdom. This is where I start when I say the Kingdom is the Kingdom is the Kingdom. It’s this Kingdom on earth that God is promising to Israel, right from day one. They’ve just come out of Egypt as a Nation of people.
Now, you know why I’m saying this over and over? Come back with me, because it all needs review. Come back with me to Genesis. I think it is chapter 46. I may have to look a moment. I didn’t plan to do this. But it just dawns on me that some of these things I haven’t said for a long time. Genesis 46, this bears repeating and reviewing. This is just as Jacob is being invited to come over into Egypt under Joseph, remember? We might as well start at verse 1.
“And Israel (or Jacob) took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2. And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3. And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not (Because remember, they’d been told all the while until now to not go down into Egypt! See, that was the command given to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. But now God says–) to go down into Egypt; for I will there (in Egypt) make of thee (What?) a great nation:”
So, when did Israel become a nation of people? Down in Egypt while they were under slavery. But even though they were under slavery, if you remember the first chapter of Exodus, what was happening to the population? My, it was exploding. The little Jewish babies were coming so fast the Egyptians got all shook up. They had to do something to stop it, or they would be outnumbered. Well, that was the purpose. Because down in Egypt is where Israel became a numerous number of people and achieved nationhood.
So, back to Exodus 19 verse 6 once more. Then we’re going to move on up through the Old Testament. But here is the first mention of this coming earthly Kingdom promised to the Nation of Israel – and nobody else! All right, read it again.
“And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, (In other words, every Jew was to be a go-between between the rest of the nations and Israel’s God.) and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.”
Now, we don’t hear too much more about the Kingdom until we get up to II Samuel. Jump all the way up to II Samuel chapter 7. Now we’re dealing with King David some 500 years later.
II Samuel 7:10a
“Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, (in other words, a geographical territory of land) and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more;…” Now see, you’ve got to know this in view of today’s news.
What does the world in general say about Israel? They’ve got no business being there. Who are they to displace those poor Palestinians? Well, those poor Palestinians should have known before they went there that they were going into foreign territory. This is God’s Land! And He’s given it to the Nation of Israel ever since the call of Abraham. Don’t ever forget that. They’re dealing with God’s Promised Land. And here’s just another one of the instances.
II Samuel 7:10b
“…I will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as before time,” Now stop a minute. Has that happened yet? No. It still hasn’t happened. They’re still afflicted. They still are not in their real homeland under their own authoritarian king. This has been promised now for these thousands of years. You and I are living to see it, we feel, come to final fruition. Now reading on in verse 10:
II Samuel 7:10c-11a
“…neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime, 11. And as since the time that I commanded judges (Which, of course, was a few hundred years previous to this.) to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies,…”
Now remember who He’s talking to. He’s talking to King David. David had the throne and had the Kingdom up into it’s epitome of all of Israel’s history. We’re going to look at it again later, if we get there this afternoon, in Acts chapter 1 when the Twelve ask Jesus, “Will you at this time restore again the Kingdom?” Oh, what Kingdom? David’s! But also the same one we’ve been talking about and will talk about all afternoon – this 1,000 year reign of Israel’s Messiah over planet Earth. All right, go all the way back again to King David at about 1,000 B.C. in verse 11.
II Samuel 7:11
“And as since the time that I commanded judges to be over my people Israel, and have caused thee to rest from all thine enemies. (In other words, David finally achieved a period of peace.) Also the LORD telleth thee that he will make thee an house.” Now, I always have to stop and qualify. What kind of a house are we talking about? Not a building of sand and stone and steel, but a genetic house, rather a bloodline house—a Royal House.
I always go back and rehearse, especially in Europe, the families of Europe’s Royalty. All are named as a “house.” You remember, the House of Orange was the Netherlands. Great Britain still has the House of Windsor. Austria had the House of the Hapsburgs. But what was it? It wasn’t a “house.” It was family. The House of Windsor has provided the Kings and Queens and Princes for England for hundreds of years.
All right, God is doing the same thing now with Israel. He is setting up a royal family. And who’s going to be the beginning of it? King David. And that’s why when everybody referred to Christ and His Earthly Kingdom—He’s going to sit on whose throne? David’s! Because that’s when all of these royal house promises began. So He says:
II Samuel 7:11b-12
“…he will make thee an house. 12. And when thy days be fulfilled, and thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy seed after thee, which shall proceed out of thy bowels, and I will establish his (What’s the word again?) kingdom.” Now, who are we talking about? Solomon. Solomon was the next in line. It wasn’t only that He was building an earthly kingdom for that period of time, but in the long view, in the big picture, he was in that royal family that would lead all the way up to Matthew and the coming of the real King.
II Samuel 7:13
“He shall build am house for my name, (And again, it’s referring primarily to the royal family rather than the temple of stone and so forth. He’s going to be second in line, now, of this royal bloodline. And God says–) and I will establish the throne of his kingdom for ever.” In other words, we know that after the 1,000 years has run its course, this kingdom is going to slip right on into eternity, under different circumstances of course, but it’s not going to end with the 1,000 years.
All right, then you come on down to verse 14. In the interval, while Israel is waiting for this glorious King and Kingdom, they’re going to go through some trials and tribulations, as we well know they have for the last 2,000 years or more, verse 14:
II Samuel 7:14
“I will be his father, and he shall be my son. (You see that relationship between God and Israel?) If he commit iniquity, I will chasten him with the rod of men, and with the stripes of the children of men:” And goodness sakes, if you know anything about biblical history, did it happen? Why, over and over.
The one we’re the most acquainted with is the Babylonians. My, how Nebuchadnezzar came in and just literally slaughtered the Jewish people in Jerusalem and totally destroyed the Temple. He took all the Temple artifacts, whatever you want to call them, the gold and the silver back to Babylon. That’s all part of Israel’s history. And then, of course, the next awful occurrence was A.D. 70 when the Romans did the same thing all over again. They came in and slaughtered the people in Jerusalem and destroyed the Temple, and Israel was sent out into the dispersion. You go on up through history, and you come to Hitler’s Holocaust. And so it’s been, over and over in Israel’s history, a constant under the heavy boot of the Gentile world. But then verse 15, what’s the first word?
II Samuel 7:15-16
“But (Even though Israel is chastised and always for a reason, God didn’t do it because He enjoyed their misery. They deserved it. In spite of all of their chastisement and in spite of all of their problems, God says–) But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as (like when) I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee. 16. And thine house (And again, I’m going to come back to the royal family.) and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne (That is the place of rule and authority.) shall be established for ever.”
All right, this Kingdom, we’re going to chase it on up all the way through the Old Testament. Everything, especially when you get to the prophets, is talking about the preparation of the Nation of Israel for this coming Kingdom. Now, let’s jump all the way up to Psalms chapter 2. Again, this is a chapter that most of you are well acquainted with. We use it quite often, because I like to use it as an outline of the Old Testament program. We can look back and see how it was fulfilled to the very jot and tittle. And that’s the beauty of prophecy. That’s the beauty of this Book. No other book on Earth can do that – foretell the future thousands and thousands of years and then have it fulfilled exactly.
“Why do the heathen (the Gentile world, the non-Jewish world) rage, and the people (Israel) imagine a vain thing?” See, you’ve got to remember. So far as Scripture is concerned, on the one hand we’ve got two groups of people. Who are they? Jew and Gentile.
Then on the other hand we’ve got two groups of people – lost and saved. But in this chapter, we’re talking about Jew and Gentile. The heathen which are Gentiles, and then the other half of the verse is a reference to the Nation of Israel. Here they are now—the whole human race in those two categories of Jew and Gentile. Verse 2:
“The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers (that is of Israel) take counsel (What’s the next word?) together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying,” Don’t ever let anyone put all the blame for the crucifixion on just the Jew. The whole world is guilty of the crucifixion, because they consorted together.
“…and the rulers take counsel together, against the LORD, and against his anointed, saying, (Of course, the Anointed in Scripture is always a reference to the Messiah, Jesus, the Christ, the Son.) 3. Let us (Jew and Gentile) break their…”
Now here again I like the little intricacies of Scripture. Why a plural pronoun in a reference to the Godhead? Because God is Three in One, so it’s a plural pronoun. And you’ll see that all the way back into Genesis chapter 1 verse 26. This is just a fact of Scripture that we have a plurality in the Godhead. Even though Deuteronomy 6:4 says, “Hear O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD,” yet that One God is made up of the Three: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. All right, now in Genesis chapter 1 verse 26 at the creation of Adam, we have the same use of the plural pronoun as in Psalms chapter 2. And it’s for the simple reason that God is Triune.
“And God said, Let (What’s the pronoun?) us (Well, come on you English grammars, us is a singular or a plural? Plural. It’s not singular. But yet the word God is singular. Us—well, it’s just a complete picture of His plurality in the Godhead.) make man in our image,…” Not my image, see that? And, again, it’s a reference to the plurality.
That’s all I wanted you to see. All right, come back to Psalms chapter 2. We have the same thing. This same God is speaking, but when they respond in verse 3, humanity says:
“Let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us. (Not his, but their. All right, now verse four. We’re back to the singular.) 4. He (God) that sitteth in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision.” It’s not a laugh of entertainment. It’s a laugh of derision, a laugh of scorn to think that they can stand up against the God of creation. Well, God says, I’ll show you a thing or two. And, of course, we’re still waiting. But it’s coming.
Then, after they have rejected the Messiah; they’ve crucified Him. And they have no remorse over it whatsoever. Then verse 5 says:
“Then shall he (God) speak unto them in his (What’s the next word?) wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure.” Now we’ve got the timeline on the board, don’t we? Here we are. We’ve come out of the Old Testament, and we’ve come all the way up to Christ’s earthly ministry. They’ve crucified Him, and He’s ascended back to Glory.
Now, according to all the Old Testament prophecies, with no inkling whatsoever of this period of time we are now in—where God is calling out the Gentile Body of Christ by having faith in the finished work of the cross. These Old Testament prophets thought everything would be coming right on through one thing after another.
He’d been rejected, and He’s ascended. The next event on this Old Testament timeline is the wrath of the Tribulation, as we’ve been talking about it in the last several tapings now—that seven year period of time which we refer to as the Tribulation. Psalms 2 puts it so obvious that that’s the next event after the crucifixion. It was to be followed by the next great event, the Second Coming of Christ and the bringing in of this Kingdom that we’re talking about.
But of course, God stopped that upper timeline and brought in the one below. We’re still in that period of time waiting for the out-calling of the Church. Then will come the Tribulation, and then will come the King and the Kingdom.
All right, back to Psalms chapter 2, so that you can see with your own eyes how perfectly true this prophecy in Psalms as a timeline is laid out.
“Then shall he speak unto them in his wrath, and vex them in his sore displeasure. (That’s the seven years that we’ve been talking about lately. And then what’s the next event? The King!) 6. Yet I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion.” Now, whose throne was on Mt. Zion? David’s throne. So Christ will rule from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem.
Okay, I’ve only got one minute left. Let’s go over to Isaiah. Now, I’m not going to try to separate these four programs. We’ll just go as far as we can get. We’ll take the break, and we’ll come back. We’ll do that all afternoon. So, for you in television, you may have to wait until tomorrow morning, and then we’ll pick up where we left off yesterday. Okay, Isaiah chapter 2 verse 2, and this is as far as we’re going to get in this program. All got it?
“And it shall come to pass (It hasn’t yet, but it will.) in the last days, that the mountain (or the kingdom) of the LORD’S house shall be established in the top of the mountains (kingdoms), and shall be exalted above the hills; and (This is going to be such a great and glorious Kingdom that the last part of the verse says–) all the nations will (What?) flow into it.”
In other words Jerusalem is going to be the Capital of the World, and all the nations of the world will funnel all of their business as well as their faith relationships into the city of Jerusalem.
LESSON TWO * PART II
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Kingdom)
Okay, good to have you all back after our break. We’ll go into program number two for the afternoon. Let’s see, we’re in book 77, and we’re in the middle four programs today. Hopefully by the end of book 77, we’ll have all the dots connected in Scripture. Huh, Jerry? Hopefully. But we’ll just take it as it comes.
So anyway, we always want to – what shall I say – thank our TV audience for your prayers, your financial support, and everything. And as I’ve said before, I’ll say it again, mail time is something else. One of my girls from the office is here. It’s not just the mail, but the phone calls, as well, isn’t it, Delena? My, how we appreciate all those fine phone calls. You know, I don’t need any financial pay. That’s enough in itself, just to hear how folks are being exercised by the Word. Not Les Feldick. It’s the Book that’s getting them exercised and excited.
Iris wants me to let the audience know once more that we’ve still got our one and only book. It has eighty-eight questions and answers. We like to let folks know. It’s a well-received book. It’s got a lot of information in it and makes wonderful gifts. It’s nominally priced, so call if you’re interested.
So anyway, we’ll continue right on now in this program where we left off in the last one. We’ll do that all afternoon. We’ll just go until our time runs out. Then we’ll take our break and come back on the next one. We’re going to jump right back in on the Kingdom concept in Isaiah chapter 9 and a couple of familiar verses, verses 6 and 7. We are going to continue getting ready for the New Testament introduction of the thousand year reign of Christ.
It’s been promised ever since Israel became a Nation. That’s what I’m trying to show, that this isn’t just a New Testament concept. This is something that the Nation of Israel has been promised almost from the time of Abraham. Definitely since the time of Moses, and that’s why we started today in Exodus chapter 19. But now we’re up to the Prophets, 700 B.C., up to Isaiah chapter 9 and verse 6:
“For unto us (the Nation of Israel) a child is born, unto us a son is given:…” I always connect that with John 3:16, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only Begotten So.,” I connect that this is what they got when He gave.
“…and the government shall be upon his shoulder:…” Looking ahead now to the time of this royal family coming to a head in the person of the Messiah, the Christ, sitting on David’s throne ruling from Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. Never lose sight of that. It’s going to be an earthly Kingdom on which God the Son Himself will rule and reign. Now this is all prophecy, yet—700 years before Christ.
“…and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. (All those are titles that God the Son will wear, you might say, when He becomes King of this glorious Kingdom.) 7. Of the increase of his government…”
Now, what does government speak of? People. Government is what controls the masses. Without it you’ve got anarchy. So here, even in the Kingdom economy, we’re going to have a government. It’s going to be a benevolent government. It’s not going to be one of high taxation. It’s not going to be one of penal punishment and all those other things. It’s going to be Heaven on Earth. But nevertheless, it’ll be a government under the rulership of the King. Later on today, or whenever we get over into the New Testament, we’ll see how the Twelve Apostles of Israel will each rule one of the Twelve Tribes of Israel. They’ll sit on thrones underneath the throne of Jesus Himself. All right, here we have it then.
“Of the increase of His government and peace (There’ll be no war during this Kingdom.) there shall be no end, (Because like I said in the last half hour, it’ll slip right on into the eternal environment. He’s going to sit there–) upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom,…” See that? I made reference to it in the first half hour, that it’s the throne of David on which Christ will sit on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. All right, so He will sit:
“…upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment (that is rule) and with justice (There’ll be no bribery. There’ll be no corruption, and it’ll be–) from henceforth even for ever. (Because–) The zeal (or the authority, the sovereignty) of the LORD of Hosts will perform this.”
Well, now that’s about as plain as language can get, isn’t it? Now turn the page. We go into another aspect of His earthly Kingdom, and that is the animal kingdom. Isaiah chapter 11, now this isn’t Heaven, this is the Kingdom. You know, I think I made mention in the last taping. Somebody sent me a book that he had authored or someone had authored. I think the guy did himself, and he was speaking of what Heaven will be like. Well, all of the references were these Kingdom references.
This isn’t Heaven as we think of Heaven. This is the earthly Kingdom. Now keep that straight. This is the Heaven that Israel is looking forward to on the earth under the headship of their Messiah. But it’s not the Heaven that you and I think of, which is, of course, in the Heavens of the Heavenlies. I don’t know where it’s at, but it’s certainly not here on the earth. This Kingdom is simply going to be a heavenly-like environment but on planet earth with the capital in Jerusalem.
All right, now on planet earth we’re going to also have aspects of the animal kingdom. Let’s jump in at chapter 11, and let’s start at verse 4. Again, we’re making reference to the King.
“But with righteousness shall he (the King) judge (or rule) the poor, (Those who are at the bottom of the totem pole.) and reprove with equity for the meek of the earth:…” Now, of course, whenever I read that verse I’m always reminded—when did Jesus address these things? Well, in the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes—they’re the constitution of the Kingdom. And they make far better sense if you leave it with the Kingdom than try to bring it into Christianity today.
“…reprove with equity for the meek of the earth: and he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, (That, of course, is previous to all of this.) and with the breath of his lips shall he slay the wicked. (That was all accomplished before we open the Kingdom.) 5. And righteousness (Absolute perfect fairness and equity and honesty, everything will be without any smack of pollution or corruption. It’s going to be perfect!) shall be the girdle of his loins, and faithfulness the girdle of his reins.” Now verse 6, and we jump into another aspect of the Kingdom—the animal kingdom. It’s going to be there.
“The wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, (Because the curse has been lifted. They’ll no longer be carnivorous. They will eat as they ate in the Garden of Eden before the curse fell.) and the leopard shall lie down with the kid; (the baby goat) and the calf and the young lion and the fatling together; (They’ll all be co-mingling. And in the midst of what used to be carnivorous animals, what?) and a little child shall lead them.”
Kids are playing. They’re going to be playing with these wild animals instead of cats and dogs, or rather along with cats and dogs. I shouldn’t say instead of, or somebody is going to get all shook up, and say, wait a minute, I’m not going to have a kitty in the Kingdom? But we know that all these wild animals are going to be domesticated. They’re no longer going to be carnivorous. I’ll show you why in the next verse.
“And the cow and bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together: and the lion (the fiercest of all) shall eat straw (or forage) like an ox.” Well, if it can forage like an ox, it doesn’t have to kill something else for its food. So everything is going to revert back.
Now, let me show you from Scripture. Go back to Genesis again. Like I said in the last program, we’ve got to keep reviewing Genesis, because it’s been many, many years since we taught it verse-by-verse. But you remember back in Genesis chapter 1 verse 30, and this is before Adam ate. This is before the curse fell. This is what it’s going to go back to when the Kingdom is set up—just like it was in Eden before Adam fell.
“And to every beast of the earth, and to every fowl of the air, and to every thing that creepeth upon the earth, wherein there is life, (in other words, every living thing) I have given every green herb for food: and it was so.”
In other words, everything in God’s creation ate and survived on things that grew naturally. They didn’t kill anything. Why? Death was still unknown. Death was an unknown factor back here. Nothing died. Consequently, nothing killed something else for its food. Everything ate of that which grew naturally. Well, it’s going to come back to that.
Now back to Isaiah 11, this is why the lion will eat grass and forage and so forth just like cattle. All the other carnivorous animals will eat the same way. They’ll eat of the herbs and so forth. And now verse 8:
“The nursing child shall play on the hole of the asp, (or a poisonous snake in our time) and (a larger child) the weaned child shall put his hand on the cockatrice’ den. (without any harm or danger) 9. They shall not hurt nor destroy (Nothing will die, and nothing will go back into uselessness.) in all my holy mountain: (That is the Kingdom.) for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the LORD, as the waters cover the sea.”
Now, isn’t that a fabulous promise? You know, I think I read years and years ago that the human capability of even the brain that we have is only about 5%. That’s all we can use is about 5% of our capability. Well, can you imagine what will happen when God gives us full knowledge? Paul even speaks of it—that we will have full knowledge and understanding.
That’s why when questions come in that are kind of hard to answer, and over which a lot of the theologians like to argue, you know what my favorite answer now is? Well, hey, if it doesn’t affect where you’re going to spend eternity, if it doesn’t affect your daily life, why worry about them? We’ll find out when we get there. We’re going to have full knowledge.
We’re going to understand all these things that today are in a state of unknown. We’re going to have this kind of knowledge as the waters cover the sea. Now, that is for these here in the Kingdom. Of course I’ll have to refer to the Church’s experience in the Kingdom at a later time. But anyway, “the knowledge of the LORD will cover the earth as the waters cover the sea.”
Now, let’s move on up through our Old Testament. Let’s go on up to Jeremiah. This is what I wanted you to see first—Jeremiah 31:31. We’ve looked at these verses before. Again, the Lord is speaking through the prophet, and look what He says.
“Behold, the days come, (Now, what does that speak of? Out in the future. Doesn’t say when, but sometime out in the future.) saith the LORD,…” This is a promise that He’s giving concerning the believing element of Israel.
Now you want to remember—only a small remnant of Israel has ever been believers or will believe. Even as we saw in our last taping, that only 1/3 of the Jews of our present time will become true believers and go into this glorious Kingdom. But nevertheless, this is the promise that God makes to that surviving remnant that will enjoy these Kingdom promises.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that I will (It’s going to happen.) make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah:” Now that makes me stop again. You know, there are so many people who still think that the ten tribes were lost and disappeared and only Judah and Benjamin survived. Don’t you believe it. God never lost a single tribe. They were all intact when they went out into the Babylonian captivity. And don’t you ever forget that.
When they came back from the Babylonian captivity, Ezra and Nehemiah spoke over and over of the whole house of Israel. Not just Judah and Benjamin – the whole house of Israel was represented going out and coming back. All the way up through the Old Testament it’s a constant reference not just to the tribe of Judah, but to all of them.
Then when you jump all the way up – now let’s just do this, because this is what I have to do with Scripture. Jump all the way up to Acts. Keep your hand in Jeremiah. I’m not through there by any means. But just to see what I’m talking about, jump up to Acts chapter 2 and the day of Pentecost. Peter is preaching his Pentecostal sermon. Let’s see, I was going to use even more than one, but one will do for now—verse 36. Got it? Acts chapter 2 verse 36 and remember, he’s addressing the Jews that have been gathering there around the Temple for this Feast of Pentecost. And look how Peter addresses them. This is in plain English.
“Therefore let all the house of Israel (not just two tribes, all of them) know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” They’re all there. Now, if that’s not enough for you, just keep going. Go all the way back to Revelation chapter 7.
Now how can they be lost when Scripture has got them right in front of you? I’ll tell you what; the devil is a master at spreading a lie. You know that, don’t you? He was the father of it. He’s the master of it. But we’re not going to follow a lie. We’re going to follow the truth.
“And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and they were sealed an 144,000 of all the tribes of the children of Israel.” Two? All of them! Now, when you take all twelve tribes of Israel and you take 12,000 out of each one as it shows in verses 5-8, how many do you end up with? 144,000.
And it’s not Jehovah’s Witnesses, it’s Jews! Next time they come to your door, you just ask them, my, are you a Jew? You don’t look like one. Well, no, I’m not a Jew. Well, then you can’t be one of the 144,000, because they have to be Jews. It’s what the Book says—twelve thousand from each one of the twelve tribes. Now, can you get it any plainer than that?
Okay, back to Jeremiah. That was all free for nothing. I didn’t intend to do that either. Jeremiah 31 verse 32, this new covenant is:
“Not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt;…” That was where we first started this afternoon back in Exodus 19—when Israel was gathered around Mt. Sinai and God was getting ready to give them the Law. Now, Jeremiah says, we’re not talking about that covenant. We’re not talking about the Ten Commandments and the Temple worship. We’re talking about a new covenant. And now verse 33:
“But this (This new covenant that’s still out in Israel’s future when the Kingdom comes in. That’s when this covenant will kick in.) shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, (In other words, after all of their history is gone by, and they’re now coming into the Kingdom. Then this new covenant is going to become a reality. God says–) I will put my law (in other words, their means of behavior, their daily discipline) in their inward parts, and will write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” What a difference from where they’ve been for the last couple thousand years.
“And they shall teach no more every man his neighbor, and (They shall no more teach–) every man his brother, saying, Know the LORD: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the LORD: for I will forgive (See that?) I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.”
All right, now let’s jump all the way back for comparison sake to where the Jew even today is still resting. That is Deuteronomy chapter 6. Many of you know where I’m going to go. Deuteronomy chapter 6, now this is just for comparison. Look at the vast difference between this first Covenant of Law and the New Covenant that Jeremiah is talking about. Deuteronomy chapter 6 and drop in at verse 4.
“Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God is one LORD: 5. And thou shalt love the LORD thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. 6. And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart:” But not like it is in Jeremiah, because in the next verse what are they still going to have to do? Teach it.
“And thou shalt teach them (That is these words which God is going to give in His Covenant of Law.) diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. 8. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. 9. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.” You see the difference?
In other words, beginning with the Law, they had to work at it constantly in order to pass it on to their children and in order to practice it. But when they get into the Kingdom, it’s going to be so glorious there won’t be any need for a law that says “thou shalt not.” Instead, God is going to write all of His righteousness in their hearts. They’re not going to have any problem living a righteous life.
Now, while I’m back in Jeremiah 31, I want to bring you back there for a moment. Because, here again, I have to disagree with these people who are maintaining that Israel has gone down the tube. They’re gone—they’ve disappeared, and all these promises have been given to the church. Don’t you believe it! Israel is still a viable entity. That’s why they’re back in the land. That’s why everything is getting ready for these Kingdom promises to yet become a reality.
Okay, let’s look at what the Scripture says to these people who claim that Israel disappeared. Jeremiah 31 verse 35. Now, that may shock some of you people, but there are a lot of them out there. I get a magazine every so often, and that’s all they trumpet—that the Jew disappeared in A.D. 70. Christ returned in A.D. 70, and all the promises that were given to Israel have disappeared and have now been turned over to the Church. Well, that’s not what my Bible says. Look at verse 35.
“Thus saith the LORD, who giveth the sun for a light by day, and the ordinances of the moon and of the stars for a light by night, which divideth the sea when the waves thereof roar; The LORD of hosts is his name: (Now this is what God says.) 36. If those ordinances depart from before me, saith the LORD, then the seed of Israel also shall cease from being a nation before me for ever. 37. Thus saith the LORD; If heaven above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out beneath, I will also cast off all the seed of Israel for all that they have done, (Because they certainly deserve it.) saith the LORD. 38. Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the city shall be built to the LORD from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner.”
All of God’s promises are going to be fulfilled. Israel hasn’t disappeared. Israel is not going to disappear. They are there today by virtue of God’s decree, and it’s a miraculous thing that they’ve been called back from every nation on the planet. They resurrected the dead Hebrew language. And then people scoff at it and say they’re nothing but impostors. Well, not according to this Book. You have to remember that all of these promises are still future. They are still valid.
Okay, now for the minute that we’ve got left, let’s just stay in Jeremiah and turn over to chapter 33 verse 7. Now, these are God’s promises. And, beloved, if God can break these promises, then what have you and I got to stand on? Nothing! Because if He can break His promise with Israel, He can break it with you and me. But He won’t. He hasn’t. Okay, now look at this, Jeremiah 33 starting at verse 7. The “I wills” are God speaking. And He says:
“And I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return, (Now that’s all Twelve Tribes. Israel is the ten. Judah is the two.) and will build them, as at the first. 8. And I will cleanse them from all their iniquity, whereby they have sinned against me; and I will pardon all their iniquities, whereby they have sinned, and whereby they have transgressed against me. 9. And it shall be to me a name of joy,…”
Why? Because Israel is now at the place that they have been waiting for—for 4,000 years!
LESSON TWO * PART III
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Kingdom)
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All right, Ezekiel chapter 47, and we’re going to continue on with the Old Testament prophecies concerning this time that is still future. We’ve been looking at all the horrors of the Tribulation in the past several tapings. That’s why we’re looking at the Kingdom now, because that’s the next event after the Battle of Armageddon. We’re going to be looking at the Second Coming of Christ, if not this afternoon, it’ll be in our next taping.
But here we’re still in the Old Testament promises concerning this glorious Heaven on earth Kingdom with the capital in Jerusalem. All right, in Ezekiel chapter 47, Ezekiel is describing the millennial throne in Jerusalem. I’m not going to take the time to go back to all that. But in the first verses of chapter 47, he’s speaking of the throne room in Jerusalem as being the headwaters of this gorgeous river that’s going to flow from Jerusalem to the Mediterranean to the West, and it’s also going to flow to the Dead Sea to the East.
Now, we’re going to pick up the one that flows east of the Dead Sea in Ezekiel 47 verse 7. Now get the picture. Christ is ruling from the throne room on Mt. Zion in Jerusalem. From underneath the throne room will come this fountain of fresh water—half going west to the Mediterranean and half going east to the Dead Sea.
“Now when I had returned, behold, at the bank of the river were very many trees on the one side and the other. (in other words, on both sides of this river) 8. Then he said unto me, These waters issue out toward the east country, (That is from Jerusalem.) and go down into the desert, and go into the sea: (That is the Dead Sea.) which being brought forth into the sea, the waters (the Dead Sea waters) shall be healed.” Now, I think you are all aware that nothing lives in the Dead Sea today. Now verse 9:
“And it shall come to pass, that everything that liveth, which moveth, whithersoever the rivers shall come, shall live: and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither:…” In other words, this freshening water supply coming from this river out of Jerusalem will actually generate the Dead Sea into a fresh water sea, and all the fish will begin to be in its habitat.
“…and there shall be a very great multitude of fish, because these waters shall come thither: for they shall be healed; and every thing shall live whither the river cometh. 10. And it shall come to pass,…” You know, I love those words—just simply because it flies in the face of most of humanity. They doubt these things, and they think that we’re just grasping at something.
But listen, as I’ve been saying for the last six months every place I go. When it says it’s going to happen, then it’s going to happen! You can just rest on it. And we’re getting closer and closer every day. My goodness, when you see what’s going on in the world and the things that are almost – like I told Iris, I’m not one to worry, but I am getting a little bit concerned even about our own beloved America. Because, you see, everything is so fragile.
If anything collapses, the whole thing goes. I trust you all know that. And all of a sudden our abundance might be anything “but.” So, I’m all for—you’d better get a little garden ready. You’d better start some home garden, because it could happen overnight. But anyway, when the Book says that–“And it shall come to pass,” we can see the handwriting is on the wall. We’re getting closer and closer.
Now, after the Dead Sea becomes fresh water and filled with fish, well, what follows? Fishermen! And here we come in the next verse.
“And it shall come to pass, that the fishers shall stand upon it from En-gedi…” Now, those of you that have been there, En-gedi is a park. It’s a Jewish wildlife park on the west side of the highway. On the east side is the Dead Sea where you usually go swimming. It’s a resort area now. That’s En-gedi.
“…from En-gedi even unto En-eglaim; they shall be a place to spread forth nets; their fish (They’re going to be catching fish.) shall be according to their kinds, as the fish of the great sea, exceeding many.” The Mediterranean—this renovated Dead Sea is going to produce fish like you won’t believe. And that’s all part of this regeneration of the planet. The places that were cursed the worst are going to be the most blessed.
Now, let’s move on into a little different prophetic view in Daniel. Daniel is going to show how that this Kingdom cannot come in until the King sets everything straight. Come in at Daniel chapter 2. It’s a portion of Scripture that many of you have heard taught from other Bible teachers. You’ve heard it from me. This is the vision from the dream of Nebuchadnezzar.
Daniel chapter 2 and let’s start at verse 31. I think you all remember the story. The King had a dream and couldn’t remember what it was. He was about to put all his magicians to death because they couldn’t figure it out for him, but they told him about this Jew that maybe could do the job. So he calls up Daniel. And Daniel, of course, by the miraculous power of his God, is able to not only recover the dream but interpret it. And here we are in Daniel chapter 2 verse 31. Daniel is speaking and he says:
“Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. (or likeness) This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. (or frightening) 32. This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33. His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.”
Now, we know from previous studies that this great image was a preview of prophecy concerning the Gentile empires that would be coming down the pipe of history. We’ve always shown it before that the head of gold was Babylon—the first great Gentile Empire in human history—Nebuchadnezzar. And he told Nebuchadnezzar “thou art this head of gold.”
The next part of the image coming down to the chest area of silver was indicative of the next empire, which was the Medes and the Persians. And you remember the Medes and the Persians blocked off the Euphrates River. The Babylonians were caught sleeping, and the Medes and Persian army came in on the dry river and just simply overwhelmed the Babylonians in a minute of time.
Then the next empire that usurped the Medes and the Persians was Alexander the Great—the Greek Empire. And that, of course, is indicated by the belly of brass. The Greek’s only held forth two or three hundred years, and then here come the Romans—the fourth great Gentile Empire. And Rome not only defeated the Greeks, but enlarged their Empire. And then we have another extension of this image, and that is down to his feet and toes. Here we have, especially the toes, designated as part iron and part clay.
Now, we know from our study of prophecy that these great empires all came in their prophetic order. First the Babylonians, then the Medes, then the Greeks and then the Romans—and Christ was rejected and crucified under the Roman Empire. But, the prophecy stopped, and the clock stopped.
And instead of carrying on as our timeline shows—instead of this timeline just keeping right on going after the crucifixion and the ascension, then the Tribulation and the Second Coming and the Kingdom—it stopped after His ascension. We have the rise of the Apostle Paul, and in comes where we have been for 2,000 years—what we call the Dispensation of Grace, the Church Age. This Church Age is made up of mostly Gentiles who have believed for salvation that Jesus died for their sins, was buried, and rose again.
We feel we’re right out here at the final days of it. We don’t know, but it certainly seems that way. We have to be taken out of the way, because this Body of Christ will not fit with the prophecy from the Old Testament. This is totally separated from all of this. So now we’re over here at the end of the Church Age, at this point in time on this timeline. We’re waiting for the Rapture, for the removal of the Body of Christ. Then the next event is still like it is up here – the Tribulation, the Second Coming, and the Kingdom in that order.
And all of this is unfolding, because we’ve seen these same four Empires back in the news now every day—the same four Empires. Babylon of course is Iraq. I’ve said for the last three years—this is not Bush’s war; this is God’s war, because Iraq has to be made ready for the end time. Now, if you want to see Iraq in the end time—I didn’t intend to do this, either. That’s why I get off schedule. I shouldn’t do this, but I have to. That’s my way of teaching.
Come back with me to Revelation 18. Oh, my goodness, jump in at verse one. I was going to go all the way over to verse 9, but let’s start at verse 1. Now, why am I doing this? Because of what I just said—this Iraqi war is God’s war. It’s getting the Middle East ready for the Second Coming. This is why I feel it has to be the way it is, because – now why do we do this? You all know that Iraq has the second greatest supply of oil of any nation on earth—greater than anybody except maybe Saudi Arabia. All it needs is the right kind of people to come in and put it into production and get it shipped out. Well, that oil is at a hundred and some dollars a barrel. Can you imagine the wealth that gives that little country? And you see, when you’ve got money, you can do anything.
Now, I maintain that once all the dust settles, Iraq will start pumping oil like you won’t believe. They will, just wait. It’ll happen. All that money, it’s already accumulating, you know. All that money will be spent to rebuild the ancient city of Babylon. And this is what you see here in Revelation. Now, when they’ve got the money, they’ll be able to build a city of two or three hundred thousand population in less than a year’s time. They did it over in the Emirates in the little city called Dubai. I’m sure that you’ve all been seeing a little bit about Dubai. Unbelievable! Manmade lakes and golf courses out there on what was nothing but pure sand. Well, how did they do it? Money! Well, all right, if Iraq ends up with all these jillions of oil dollars, this can happen almost overnight. Okay, here we come, Revelation 18 verse 1.
“And after these things I saw another angel come down from heaven, having great power; and the earth was lightened with his glory. 2. And the angel cried mightily with a strong voice, saying, Babylon the great is fallen,…” Now, when I taught this ten years ago, I put the word Babylon here as connecting all the global systems of the world, not just Babylon alone. All the great financial centers and the whole globalized economies in the world are now going to be under the control of the anti-Christ, and it’s going to fall. That’s what this chapter is all about, the end of this great Gentile financial empire.
“…Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and this is become the habitation of demons, and the hold of every foul spirit, and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird. 3. For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich (Money, money, money—that’s all they can think about.) through the abundance of her delicacies.”
“And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues. 5. For her sins have reached unto heaven, and God hath remembered her iniquities.” Verse 7:
“How much she hath glorified herself, and lived deliciously, so much torment and sorrow give her: for she saith in her heart, I sit a queen, (She’s a big, new, beautiful city—but don’t forget all the other financial centers of the world are all tied together. It’s not just this one city alone. But on the other hand, it has to be a city, because it’s spoken of as such.) and am no widow, and shall see no sorrow. 8. Therefore shall her plagues come in one day, (This will be at the Second Coming of Christ. This is what we’re building up to out of our Old Testament study today.) death, and mourning, and famine; and she shall be utterly burned with fire: for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her.”
Now, coming down to verse 9, I think we identify the city in particular. Don’t forget, it’s going to be Paris and Berlin and London and New York and Chicago and San Francisco; and you just go all around the globe. They’re all tied together in our globalized economies. But here sits the queen of them all.
“And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her burning, 10. Standing afar off for the fear of her torment, saying, Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! for in one hour is thy judgment come. 11. And the merchants of the earth shall weep, and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise anymore:” And look at their commodities.
“The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, (all the things of the wealthy society of this globalized economy) and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble.” Now, come all the way down to verse 16.
“And saying, Alas, alas, that great city, that was clothed in fine linen, and purple, and scarlet, and decked with gold, and precious stones, and pearls! 17. For in one hour (Now, I’m a literalist. This is going to just be almost instantaneous.) so great riches is come to nothing. And every shipmaster, (Which I feel will be down on the Persian Gulf.) and all the company in ships, and sailors, and as many as trade by sea, stood afar off, 18. And cried when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, What city is like unto this great city!”
Well, I think again, all the petrol dollars are being accumulated, and it’s going to rise up out of the dust—the most beautiful city the world has probably ever seen. The Gardens of Nebuchadnezzar will be put to shame by what they’ll be able to do with all this oil money. And if you doubt me, you just go to the internet or whatever, and you look up the city Dubai – D u b a i – and it is unbelievable. They’ve built all that in just a short period of time. See, Ike knows what I’m talking about. And that’s just a little foretaste of what I think they’ll do in Iraq.
Well, back to Daniel 2. I didn’t plan to do that. Here we have the great Gentile Empires. Starting with Nebuchadnezzar back there in 606 B.C. and ending with the Roman Empire at the time of Christ. All right, about 300 and some years after Christ’s death, the Roman Empire disappeared into the dustbin of human history. But now here we are. That’s where I left off. Iraq is back in the news every day. That’s ancient Babylon. It is the same place.
All right, the next empire was the Medes and the Persians. Well, who’s Persia? Iran. And if you don’t know that Iran is in the news every day, you’ve got your head in the dirt someplace. All right, then what’s the next one? Syria. And Syria is in the news now every day. Getting closer, I think, to a confrontation with Israel. So that brings us up to the fourth empire, which was Rome. What’s the present day Roman Empire? The European Union.
And like I think I shared in the last taping. Way back when the European Union was still in its infancy, I told my Bible classes that someday they would have their own currency. I didn’t know what they’d call it. And I said you just watch that. After it finally gets on the world currency markets, it’ll just gradually go right up past the American dollar. And that’s where it is today. I think it’s up to about a dollar and a half or more for a dollar. And it’s all right here.
So, now we are at that point in history where all these Old Testament Gentile Empires are back in the news. They’ve all got a role of one sort or another. Now, let’s continue on reading in Daniel. So I can at least finish this part of it before this program ends. Now then, verse 34 of Daniel 2, after laying out these four empires, with a fifth made of ten toes, which I feel is the European Community. It’s a revived Roman Empire.
“Thou sawest (he tells the king) till that a stone was cut out without hands,…” Now, I’m thinking that someday I may make an afternoon, or at least program or two, on all the references throughout Scripture where Christ is the “Rock” or the “Stone.” I think it’s enough for an afternoon. But over and over Christ is referred to as the Stone or the Rock.
You remember when Moses struck the Rock? Who was the Rock? Well, it was Christ. All right, here we have a Stone depicted in this prophecy, but what’s unique about this Stone? It’s cut out without hands. So, what is it? It’s a supernatural boulder. A huge boulder! That’s what we want to be putting in our imagination. Here comes this huge boulder with which human effort has nothing to do whatsoever. It’s a miraculous thing. Now read on.
“Thou sawest till that a stone (Which is a reference to Christ; but in its symbolism, it’s a boulder.) was cut out without hands, who smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.” Now remember, the image is standing upright. The head is Nebuchadnezzar, the chest and then the legs and the feet.
Now, when this boulder comes and strikes that image on its feet, what’s the natural result? It’s going to tip over. As it tips over, what does that boulder do to the statue? Crushes it. Grinds it to powder. That’s the symbolism. What’s the reality? When Christ comes, the powers that be that the anti-Christ is going to be coming out of and is going to use as base will be the European, the Revived Roman Empire. That’s going to be the base of it all. All these other empires’ influences are still with us, but they’re all going to be crushed with the Second Coming of Christ. Now, you got the picture?
All right, so he “strikes the image upon his feet,” which is the Revived Roman Empire, out of which the anti-Christ is ruling the world. But all the influences of the Persians and the Syrians and the Greeks and so forth are still evident. But they’re all going to come under that rolling Stone.
“…which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35. Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together,…” See where we’re going? We’re going from feet to legs, to the belly, to the chest, to the head. And it’s going to be utterly ground to pieces together.
“…and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, (Which means what? There’s no more evidence of them. They’re completely wiped off the planet—everything pertaining to them.) that no place was found for them: (But now, that’s not the end. What’s the next part of the statement?) and the stone (Jesus Christ in His Second Coming) that smote the image became a great (kingdom) mountain (in the King James), and filled the whole earth.”
All right, now we’ve got to make one more reference. I’m not through in Daniel. I may come back next half hour. I don’t know. But now, come over quickly in the minute we have left to Zechariah. This is the next to the last book in your Old Testament. Zechariah—because I want you to see how the language is exactly the same. Daniel depicts this great Kingdom as filling the whole earth, not just the Middle East, not just Israel. It’s going to be an earthly Kingdom covering the whole earth. All right, Zechariah 14, again, I’ve got to watch my time. I think I’ve got time.
Here are the closing stages of the Tribulation as we saw it in our last taping. When everything is going to be utterly reduced to nothing, so that God can start out with a totally cleansed earth. All right, then verse 3:
“Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. 4. And his feet (His Second Coming) shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east,…”
All right, now skip across the page, at least in my Bible, to verse 9. Here we’ll have to close. Now verse 9, and look at the identical words that we saw in Daniel.
“And the LORD shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one LORD, and his name one.” And that Kingdom is going to fill the earth from one end to the other, and it’s going to be like the Garden of Eden.
LESSON TWO * PART IV
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (The Kingdom)
Okay, once again you’re all back from your break. This is our last program for this afternoon. After it’s over, we can go home. For those of you joining us on television, we’ll see you tomorrow morning. But anyway, we are so thankful for every one of you out there whether you contribute or not. As long as we know you are praying for us, then the Lord will do the rest. We know He’s touching a lot of hearts and lives through the teaching of His Word.
All right, we’re still on what we started on several months ago called “Connecting the Dots of Scripture.” We’re still heading toward the end of the Book of Revelation. Someday. We’ve just finished, pretty much, the Old Testament in review—just hitting the high points of all the promises concerning this coming glorious earthly Kingdom over which we feel Christ—God the Son, Israel’s Messiah—will rule and reign some day soon.
Now, before we go back to Matthew and pick up the New Testament account of this coming Kingdom, I’d like to take you back to Romans chapter 15 verse 8 where Paul makes another reference to this very same thing. But he clarifies what most of Christendom still doesn’t get. That is, that Christ’s whole earthly ministry was to prepare Israel for this glorious Kingdom. He came to present it—knowing, of course in His foreknowledge, that they would reject it and bring about the crucifixion which had to happen. But nevertheless, it was a valid offer of this glorious Kingdom promised ever since Exodus 19.
“Now I say that Jesus Christ was (From Paul’s point in time, it’s past tense. We’re going to be looking at it in a minute from the very beginning.) a minister of the circumcision for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made to the fathers:” What’s he talking about? What we’ve been seeing for the last three half hours. Those were the promises that were made to the fathers—first through Moses at Mt. Sinai, and then through the prophets and King David. All these prophecies concerning this coming glorious Kingdom were promised to the Nation of Israel. That was their “Heaven” that they were looking for.
Now, a lot of people call and say, “Les, when did you catch on to all of this? And how?” Well, I just wrote a letter yesterday explaining it, so it’s fresh in my mind. You can be turning back to Matthew chapter 3. I had just started teaching home Bible classes outside of my regular denominational church. I had been a Sunday school teacher and a deacon for many, many years. About the third week, this lady came up after a class and she said, “Les, why isn’t Heaven taught in the Old Testament?” I said, “What?” I’d never heard of that. I said, “What are you talking about?” She said, “Well, those Jews had no idea of dying and going to Heaven. It’s not back there.” Well, that was a whole new concept to me. So I had to get into the Book and start digging to prove her wrong. But you know what? She was right!
The Jew had no idea of going to Heaven. They were going to go to Paradise. They were going to go down to Sheol. They had to wait for the atonement, and then Christ emptied Sheol, or Paradise, and took it up to Heaven. But see, she was so right that the Jew had no concept of going to Heaven.
Now, the verse I usually like to use, keep your hand in Matthew, because I’m going to come right back. Come back with me to Job. We’ve done this before for some of you. But for those of you who are just getting part of this, we’ve got to prove that this is what the Jew was looking for. Job puts it perfectly. Chapter 19 verses 25 and 26 and this is exactly the concept that the Jew had of death and life after death. It wasn’t the idea that we have of going up to Heaven. They were going to come to a heaven on earth.
“For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day (Where?) upon the earth: (at the latter day, not at the beginning, at the last) 26. And though after my skin worms destroy this body, (In other words, he dies and goes back to the dust, yet here was his future.) yet in my flesh (resurrected flesh) I shall see God:” And where’s God going to be? Standing on the earth!
So Job had the right idea. That after he had finished this life of the physical and he died, one day he would be resurrected back to the earth. But it wouldn’t be the earth under the curse, it would be an earth under the Kingdom authority of the Messiah. The whole Old Testament view of their eternal destiny was to come back to an earthly Kingdom.
Matthew chapter 3 is the first reference that we have to it in the New Testament. And don’t forget what Paul said—that Jesus Christ, when He came in His first Advent, was a minister of the circumcision (that’s Israel), not the whole human race. He was a minister for the Nation of Israel to fulfill, or bring to completion, all these Old Testament promises of a coming glorious earthly Kingdom.
“In those days came John the Baptist, preaching in the wilderness of Judea, 2. And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Not the Kingdom of God – the Kingdom of Heaven.
Now, remember a couple of years ago, Sharon put it on the board. I think I referred to it a little earlier this afternoon, that the Scripture uses those two terms almost interchangeably—“the Kingdom of God” and “the Kingdom of Heaven.” Well, they’re not one and the same. Yet they’re intertwined, because the Kingdom of God is that overall sphere of God’s righteous influence. To make it simple, imagine a large circle called the Kingdom of God. Now inside that large circle we have two smaller circles. One is called the Kingdom of Heaven, and one is called the Body of Christ.
There is nothing of the unrighteous here, but only that which is righteous—which includes Heaven and the angels, every believer from Adam, Abel and on up through the Old Testament, and then you come to the Body of Christ. We, too, are in the Kingdom of God, but we are singularly in a smaller sphere called the Body of Christ.
Maybe I should ask Sharon to draw it again. I don’t want to, but she could. But nevertheless, the other entity that’s in that big circle is the Kingdom of Heaven. So you’ve got the Kingdom of Heaven sitting over here inside the Kingdom of God waiting to be fulfilled. Over here we’ve got the Body of Christ in which you and I are a part; and it’s already, just about we think, full. It’s also in the Kingdom of God. So, when Paul speaks of the Kingdom of God, he’s talking about the big circle. But when he gets down into the nitty-gritty of where we are, he calls us the Body of Christ.
Now John the Baptist is introducing this other entity that’s in the Kingdom of God—the Kingdom of Heaven. And that’s this earthly 1,000 year reign of Christ on a planet earth that has been totally regenerated. It has been lifted from the curse. It’s going to be made beautiful just as it was in the beginning. That’s why we have been looking all afternoon at the Old Testament prophecies concerning this Kingdom of Heaven.
Now, what most of Christendom doesn’t understand is that this is strictly a Jewish phenomenon. It is only between God and Israel. It is to Israel that He’s going to promise this glorious earthly Kingdom. Albeit, we know that in the Tribulation, 144,000 Jews, with their preaching around the globe, will bring in multitudes of Gentiles who will become the Gentile part of the earthly Kingdom. But Israel will be the primary player. Israel will be by far the largest nation during the 1,000 year reign.
But all the other Gentile nations are going to come into the picture, because it’s going to be a population explosion. But for the most part, I want you to see that the Kingdom of Heaven is a God and Israel relationship. So when John the Baptist began preaching to the Jews of the day of Christ’s earthly ministry, the language was “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.”
But the verse that most of Christendom totally misconstrues is where Jesus said, “the Kingdom of Heaven is within you.” But it was a rank error in translation, because that Greek word translated within is actually better translated in your midst. Now, think about that. The Kingdom of Heaven is in your midst. How? In the person of the Messiah. Just like John says here, “the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” Why? Because in a few days he’s going to introduce the King. Here comes Jesus now in His earthly ministry proclaiming to be Israel’s Messiah, Redeemer, and King.
Now, in order to set that a little straighter, I’m going to take you back to verses that we’ve used over and over through the past many, many years. That is Peter’s confession in Matthew chapter 16. Turn with me to that. Matthew 16 and we’ll drop in at verse 13. I’m going to come back to another verse that we use over and over and over, because most of Christendom rejects it. They’ll just actually say I don’t believe that. Well, they’re in trouble.
But let’s look at Matthew 16 first, at the end of His three years. They’re up in northern Israel. In short order they’re going to be heading back south and up to Jerusalem for the Passover and the crucifixion. But the Twelve don’t know that. Jesus does, but the Twelve don’t. But what Jesus is getting the Twelve ready for, is to make sure they understand who He is. All right, that’s the whole idea of these verses right here.
“When Jesus came into the borders of Caesarea Philippi,…” Now, that’s clear up on the very northern border of Israel. It’s at the headwaters of the Jordan River. For those of you that are going with us to Israel this fall, we’ve got plans made to go up there. We’re going to go up to Caesarea Philippi, the headwaters of the Jordan River.
“…he asked his disciples, saying, Whom do men say that I the Son of man am?” That’s a simple question, isn’t it? Fellows, whom do people up and down the highways and byways of Israel, the rank and file, or today they use the term “the street.” Who do they think I am? Now, look at the ridiculous answers.
“And they said, Some say that thou art John the Baptist:…” Well, my heavens, what happened to John the Baptist? Got imprisoned and then got his head cut off. So how could this be John the Baptist? But see how ridiculous people can get?
You know, I’m always making the point. Do you realize that people 2,000 years ago were not a nickel’s worth different than we are today? Not a nickel’s worth. Oh, we may have a little more modern conveniences and so forth, but our basic thoughts and actions – there’s no difference.
“…and some think you are Elijah; and others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets. 15. But Jesus saith unto them, But whom say ye that I am? (They’d been with Him now for three years.) 16. And Simon Peter (the spokesman) answered, and said, Thou art the Christ,…”
Now, unless you understand Scriptural language, when he says, “Thou art the Christ,” what did he really say? Who was He? The Messiah! That’s what the word Christ means in the Greek. It comes from the Hebrew word, the Messiah, the Anointed One.
So, Peter is recognizing that He is the Promised King. Well, if He’s the King, what was Peter looking for? The Kingdom! They weren’t looking for a crucifixion, for heaven sakes. They were looking for the Kingdom to come in. All right, so he says:
“…Thou art the Christ, (You are the King, but he also qualifies that he was–) the Son of the living God.” Who alone could be the King of this heavenly Kingdom?
All right, now when I said that this was strictly a Jewish phenomenon, I’ll have to bring you back to Matthew chapter 10. Come back a few pages to Matthew chapter 10. Then you’ll see what I mean. And again, He has just chosen the Twelve. He’s ready to begin their earthly ministry with Him of three years. So in verse 5:
“These twelve Jesus sent forth, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not:” Now, that’s plain English. Don’t have a thing to do with Gentiles, likewise the Samaritans down there who were half-breed Jews, remember. But, now here’s what they were to do in verse 6.
“But go rather (or instead) to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. 7. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is (Out there in the future? No. What is it?) at hand.” Why? Because the King was here!
Now we know some theologians disagree with me on this basis—that Jesus could not have offered the Kingdom before the cross. I can see where they’re coming from. But on the other hand, I say, now wait a minute. There was another time that Jesus made an offer to the Nation of Israel, and it was just as valid as this one. That was when He offered them the Promised Land. You remember that? What did He tell them? Go in and take it. It’s yours.
It’s all been made ready for you. He used the labor of the Canaanites for 400 years preparing the land of Canaan for the Nation of Israel. Got all the wells dug. Got all the granaries built. All the housing was ready. The vineyards were producing. The grain fields were producing. The Canaanites must have been a tremendously technologically-oriented people.
Consequently, it was a land of what? Milk and honey. And the spies brought back grapes so big that it took two men to carry the clumps of grapes. Now listen, that’s quite a production feat! But it was waiting for the Children of Israel. They didn’t even have to draw a sword to drive the Canaanites out, because what did God promise? I’ll send hornets ahead of you, and they’ll drive the Canaanites out, and all you have to do is occupy.
Was it a valid offer? Well, I reckon it was. God doesn’t lie! But what did God know? That they wouldn’t do it. And they didn’t. And because of their unbelief, they went back into the desert and died off like flies over the next 40 years. But could they have had it? Yes, because God said they could.
Well, I look at this the same way. Yes, Jesus is in their midst, and He’s fulfilling all the Old Testament promises. He’s proven now for three years who He is. They could have had it, but what did they do? They rejected it. Now then, here’s where it becomes a little more valid. After He’s been crucified—now let’s just move up a minute to the Book of Acts after He’s been crucified. The atoning blood has been shed, which Israel had to have. Now Peter and the Eleven come back beginning with the Day of Pentecost, and again, what are they offering? The King and the Kingdom!
Oh, granted, He’s gone back to Glory, but that doesn’t stop Him. It’s only a split second for God to move from Heaven to earth. So the whole idea was that now it was definitely a valid offer, because the atoning blood has been shed. The price of redemption has been paid. Israel, it’s yours for the taking. All right, now come with me to Acts chapter 3. Then I’m going to back up to Acts chapter 1, if we’ve got time. But look at Acts chapter 3, when He made a valid offer of the Kingdom. Peter is speaking.
Acts chapter 3:18
“But those things, which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, (See, all the things we’ve been looking at all afternoon.) that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.”
So, what’s Peter saying? There’s nothing left for God to do. So, in whose park is the ball? Israel’s. It’s in Israel’s park. And what were they to do with it? Believe it! Believe that He was the Christ. Believe that He has now paid the price of redemption. Believe that He’s the promised King and He will bring in this earthly Kingdom. Now verse 19:
“Repent ye therefore, (Well, what was the big thing Israel had to repent of? The crucifixion. The rejection. Repent of it!) and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing (Kingdom blessings) shall come from the presence of the Lord; 20. And he (God) shall send Jesus Christ, who before was preached unto you:” Now, you can’t get any plainer than that?
All Israel was expected to do was repent of the sin of rejection and unbelief, and God could have sent Jesus Christ to fulfill all these Old Testament promises. But of course, Peter now comes back and suddenly realizes that it couldn’t happen until the Tribulation unfolded—that’s verse 21.
“Whom the heaven must receive (in other words, at His ascension) until (time word) the times of restitution of all things,…” Well, what does restitution mean? Made like it was at the beginning. So Peter realizes that Christ has to stay in Glory at the Father’s right hand until the Tribulation has run its course and the curse is lifted, as we’ve been seeing for the last several months now. The earth will be made ready to be reconstructed like the Garden of Eden. The curse is gone, and it’ll be a glorious, beautiful Heaven-on-earth experience. But Israel rejected it. They continued to reject it and reject it and reject it.
Okay, now I’ve got to back up a moment. In Matthew we’ve got the preaching of Christ. They are to go into the Nation of Israel only and not have anything to do with anybody else but Israel. But in Israel’s unbelief, they rejected Him. Now we come into the Book of Acts chapter 1. With this we’ll probably have to wind up this half hour. Acts chapter 1 and Luke is writing.
“The former treatise (In other words, speaking of the Gospel of Luke, I think.) have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began to do and teach, (in His earthly ministry.) 2. Until the day in which he was taken up, after that he through the Holy Spirit had given commandments unto the Apostles whom He had chosen: (the Twelve) 3. To whom (to the Twelve) also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days,…” Now, that’s that forty days between His resurrection and His ascension.
“…and speaking of the things pertaining to (The what?) the kingdom of God:” All the things that involved God’s righteousness. But, you see, they couldn’t talk about the Church Age, because that wasn’t revealed yet. They couldn’t talk too much about the Kingdom on earth, because that hadn’t happened yet. But all the rest of God’s righteousness was certainly a topic for conversation.
“And being assembled together with them, commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, he saith, ye have heard of me. (Which was, of course, the Holy Spirit coming on the Day of Pentecost.) 5. For John truly baptized with water; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Spirit not many days hence.” Now verse 6 and here’s where we’re going to wind up.
“When they therefore were come together, (The Eleven. Judas is gone, and Mathias is not in yet. It’s the Eleven and Jesus.) were come together, (the Eleven) they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the (What?) kingdom to Israel?” What’s on their mind? The Kingdom. The King.
Now, I don’t think as yet they realize that He’s suddenly going to be taken up from them. He’s now been dead, buried, and resurrected. Hey, what’s to stop the Kingdom from coming in? So that was the question. And what was Jesus’ answer? What’s the matter with you guys? No. He merely says:
“And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.” What’s He saying? Well, Peter, the Kingdom is coming. I’m still going to be your King. But it’s not for you to know when.
And in the next few verses, what happens? He goes back up to Glory. Well, that was according to the Old Testament prophecies. What did Psalms 110 verse 1 say? “Sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool.” And that, of course, is what He did, and where He has remained up until now. But the day is getting closer and closer when He is going to arise from that seated position; and He’s yet going to return and set up that glorious 1,000 year Kingdom!
LESSON THREE * PART I
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (Eternity)
Okay, it’s good to see everybody in this afternoon. Again, for those of you out in television, we’re just an informal Bible study. Today we’ve got folks in here from Kansas and Oklahoma City and several outside of Tulsa.
All right, again we want to always thank our television audience for your prayers. My, how we appreciate that you all pray for us every day. And your letters, my goodness, how we love our mail time. I want people to know that I’m not just wasting words when I say that we appreciate your letters. And of course, your financial help, we can’t pay the bills without that.
We’re in the final four lessons of Book 77 today. We’ve been connecting the dots of Scripture for the past four books. The girls have been asking me the last few days, “Well, Les, people are asking what you mean by connecting the dots?” Well, I just thought everybody knew. Sometimes you’ll see a blank sheet of paper with a whole bunch of dots and numbers. You take a pen or a pencil and start going from one to two to three to four to five, then all of a sudden something comes up that’s recognizable. It’s just a matter of making sense out of something that maybe didn’t make sense.
Well, that’s what we’ve been doing in these past four books, including this one. We’ve gone from Genesis through Revelation. We’re just hitting the highlights, not in-depth like we did the first time through, but just sort of a review. I like to think of it as an overview of Genesis to Revelation. I’m hoping that today we can finish with connecting the dots of Scripture.
But before we get into connecting the dots, I was reminded again by a magazine that somebody sends me every so often from people that call themselves Preterists. Now, a lot of folks aren’t acquainted with the term. It’s not new. I used to always call them Amillennialists, because they reject all end-time prophecy. But I have found out since I’m in the ministry, that a true Preterist maintains that everything was fulfilled in A.D. 70. And of course they go by Matthew 24, where it says “that this generation shall not pass until all things are fulfilled.” From that they maintain, and they show Scriptures—you know you can do anything with the Scripture if you look often enough—that Christ returned, and that everything was finished in A.D. 70. Israel disappeared and the Jews are no more, and the people who claim to be Jews today are not Jews at all. They’re impostors. Oh, it’s ridiculous.
But the thing that really raised my hackles in this last article was that they started it out by saying, “There is nothing in Scripture to indicate a gap or a parenthesis in God’s timetable.” And that’s what I’m always emphasizing that the Church Age is, a parenthetical period of time. We’re going to be looking at that after the boys turn the board.
I decided I’m going to confront that. I just can’t let people get away with something like that without warning people to “look out, look out!” They’re highly educated, no doubt about that. They use the Scriptures seemingly to make their point. But I’m going to use the Scriptures to show that they are totally out in left field.
So, we’re going to start right now in Acts chapter 15 at verse 13. The background for this chapter, of course, is that Paul and Barnabas have come up from their work of service amongst the Gentiles. Especially up in Antioch where Judaizers have been coming in behind them and telling Paul’s Gentile converts that they cannot be saved unless they practice circumcision and keep the Mosaic Law.
So the Lord directed Paul and Barnabas to go up to Jerusalem and confront the Twelve about this very thing. After they had spent a good part of a day, Peter, James, and John finally came to conclusion that Paul was right. He was sent specifically to the Gentiles. This is one of the portions that I feel makes it so plain that God definitely stopped the Old Testament timeline and opened it up for the Church Age.
All right, let’s start our reading in Acts chapter 15 verse 13. Now remember, they had been discussing these things all day up there in Jerusalem.
“After they had held their peace, James (who was the moderator) answered, saying, Men and brethren, hearken unto me: (Now remember, he’s got nothing but a Jewish audience here.) 14. Simeon (Peter) hath declared how God at the first did visit the Gentiles, to take out of them (the Gentile world) a people for his name. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; (the Old Testament) as it is written,” Back in Amos, and in a moment we’re going to go back and look at it in Amos.
“After this (After the calling out of a people for His name from amongst the Gentiles.) I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David, which is fallen down; (Which certainly it is as we speak.) and I will build again the ruins thereof, and I will set it up:” Hasn’t happen yet, but it will!
All right, now if you’ll go back with me to Amos, we’ll see exactly what Peter is referring to. Amos chapter 9, now that’s right after Daniel and Hosea, and then there’s Amos. Those little Minor Prophets are sometimes hard to find. I know they are. Okay, this is what James quoted. And that’s what’s interesting about Scripture. When the New Testament writers quote the Old Testament, check them out. Go back and see exactly what the setting was in the Old Testament.
“In that day I will raise up the tabernacle of David that is fallen, (In other words, it’s gone into the dustbin of history for all these hundreds of years now, remember.) and close up the breaches thereof; and I will raise up his ruins, and I will build it as in the days of old:”
In other words, that’s the promise of Israel’s total restoration to all the things promised in the Old Testament. Of course, it’s a reference to the coming in of the King and the Kingdom, as we’ll see as we read on—verse 12.
“That they (Israel) may possess the remnant of Edom, and of all the heathen, (the Gentiles) which are called by my name, saith the LORD that doeth this. 13. Behold,…” Now this is the Kingdom after the Church Age has been Raptured out. Then God will come back and pick up where He left off with Israel in their prophecies and promises.
“Behold, the days come, saith the LORD, that the plowman shall overtake the reaper, and the treader of grapes (will overcome) him that soweth the seed; and the mountains shall drop sweet wine, and all the hills shall melt. Well, enough of that.
I think my timeline is up here. Here we are. We’ve come out of the Old Testament promises and all the Covenant promises. Had Israel at some point in Jesus’ earthly ministry recognized Jesus of Nazareth as their King and their Messiah, then according to all the Old Testament, the Four Gospels, and the early chapters of Acts, after He had ascended in Acts chapter 1 then in would come the wrath and vexation—which we call the seven years of Tribulation. Then Christ would return and bring in the Kingdom.
All right, now here is the gap thing that these people are just furiously opposing – that God stopped His timeline before the Tribulation came in after He had ascended and brought in instead what Peter refers to as “a calling out a people for His name.” Well, that’s exactly what the Church Age is. Paul calls it the “Body of Christ.” Israel never tried to evangelize the Gentiles. They had no commission to go and bring salvation to the Gentile world until they had the King and the Kingdom. Then they would, but they rejected everything.
All right, so if you’ll come back to Acts a minute and rehearse what Peter said, because I’ve got to make the point in verse 15. Acts 15 and we’ll start at verse 14 for review, again.
“Simeon (or Peter) hath declared how God at the first (for the first time) did visit the Gentiles, (See? God never went to the Gentiles until Paul.) to take out of them a people for his name. 15. And to this agree the words of the prophets; as it is written, 16. After this (After the calling out of the Gentile Body of Christ, then–) I will return, and will build again the tabernacle of David,…” And finish His program with Israel. Well, that’s my number one reason that it’s definite that there is a parenthetical time between Israel’s fall and her promises of the Kingdom.
All right, now I’ve got another one that I’ve used before. We’ll use it again, still in Acts. Change over to Acts chapter 13 and drop in at verse 6.
Here we have Paul and Barnabas just beginning their first missionary journey. They’ve left Antioch where the church has prayed for them and sent them out. And the Holy Spirit leads them, of course, first to the Island of Cyprus. As they go to the western end of Cyprus, they come to the major city, which, of course, is Paphos. Then we come to verse 6.
“When they had gone through the island unto Paphos, they found a certain sorcerer, a false prophet, (who was) a Jew,…” And, remember, Israel in the future is going to do the same thing this Jew did—try to keep the Gospel from going out to Gentiles.
“…whose name was Bar-jesus: 7. Which was with the deputy of the country, Sergius Paulus, a prudent man; who called for Barnabas and Saul, and desired to hear the word of God.” In other words, this guy had his head on straight.
“But Elymas the sorcerer (for so is his name by interpretation) withstood them, seeking to turn away the deputy (the Gentile) from the faith. (That, of course, Paul and Barnabas were proclaiming.) 9. Then Saul, (who also is called Paul,) filled with the Holy Spirit, set his eyes on him, 10. And said, O full of all subtilty and all mischief, thou child of the devil, thou enemy of righteousness, wilt thou not cease to pervert the right ways of the Lord?” Now verse 11:
“And now, behold, the hand of the Lord is upon thee, and thou shalt be blind,…” Highlight those words, “Thou shalt be blind.” Now in this case, it’s a physical blindness, because it is a symbolic prophecy concerning the Nation of Israel as a whole. All right, this individual Jew who is withstanding the Gospel from going to the Gentiles will now be physically blind.
“…not seeing the sun for a season. (not for the rest of his life, but for a period of time) And immediately there fell on him a mist and a darkness; and he went about seeking some to lead him by the hand.”
All right, now there we have in symbolism, again, a preview of the Nation of Israel as a whole, who also were blinded because of their constant rejection of the Gospel of the finished work of the cross and who Christ was, and so on and so forth. All right, now just to make that point, come over to chapter 17. We’ll see what I’m talking about, that this Elymas was merely a preview symbolically of the Nation as a whole—because here, instead of just one Jew withstanding the Gospel, we’ve got a number of them. All right, verse 5 of Acts 17, they’re up in Thessalonica.
“But the Jews which believed not, (See that? Just like this fellow over on Cyprus.) moved with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, (Who was with, of course, Paul and Silas.) and sought to bring them out to the people.” All right, now then, just to take it a little step further, come on down to verse 10.
“And the brethren (That is the fellow believers up there in the area of Thessalonica.) immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: (Which is the next little city further south.) who coming thither went into the synagogue of the Jews. 11. These (Jews) were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. 12. Therefore many of them believed;…” But now look in verse 13.
“But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, (to Gentiles, remember) they (the Jews from up at Thessalonica) came thither also, and stirred up the people. 14. And then immediately the brethren sent away Paul to go (toward) as it were to the sea:…” So, there’s evidence that the Jews would not only reject it for themselves, but they did everything in their power to keep the Gentiles from hearing our salvation message of faith in that finished work of the cross and His glorious resurrection
All right, now in response to that, then, the Holy Spirit leads the Apostle Paul to make a graphic statement, and if you’ve had any contact with bringing the Gospel to the Jewish people, you’ll know exactly what it’s talking about. Romans 11 verse 7. Now this is years and years later, remember. We’re now into the early 60’s, whereas up there in the early part of Paul’s ministry, we’re still down in the 50’s. But here we are up in the 60’s, and Paul, by inspiration of the Holy Spirit, writes this graphic statement.
“What then? Israel (that is the Nation) hath not obtained that which he seeketh for;…” In other words, they were always looking for that glorious promised Kingdom and so forth, but they couldn’t see it as fulfilled in this Jesus of Nazareth. That was their hang up. Not that they didn’t believe in a King and a Kingdom. They just couldn’t see that Jesus had any connection to it.
What then? Israel hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election (In other words, that little small number of Jews who did embrace Jesus as the Messiah—which later on became the church at Pentecost and the Jerusalem church. They embraced it, but they were only a small, small percentage of the Nation as a whole.) hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.” The vast majority of the Nation was blinded. Blinded. Just like the sorcerer was up there in Cyprus, and that was the preview.
Now, why and when were they blinded? Well, they’ve been blinded for this whole period of what we call the Dispensation of Grace, or the Church Age. Not all Jews, but for the most part. In fact, I had a call from a Rabbi not too long ago. My goodness, he was hot under the collar to the extreme, because he said, “I’m getting phone calls from California to Tel Aviv.” I said, “Rabbi, I’m not on in Tel Aviv.” And he said, “You must be. I’m getting phone calls.”
But anyway, he’s probably listening. During the course of our conversation, he let me know. He said, “Now, Les, we do not believe one word of that New Testament.” I said, “I know that. Aren’t you glad it’s a free country? That’s your privilege. It’s a free country for me, so I can teach the way I see it.” And he had to agree that this is part of our freedom.
But you see, it just pointed out that the Jewish people in general cannot believe one word of the New Testament. Why? They’ve been blinded. Providentially blinded until the Body of Christ, the true Church, is out of the way. And then God will again pick up dealing with His chosen people Israel. Absolutely, God loves the Nation of Israel. He loves the Jewish people. But as Stephen said in the Book of Acts, and I think even Peter used the same word, they were stiff-necked. They just would not bow to the fact that Jesus was who He said He was. So, they’ve been blinded.
All right, that gives rise to my next point, which is still in Romans chapter 11 verse 25. And if this doesn’t show a parenthetical period of time, then I don’t know how to read.
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery,…” Now let’s see, we don’t have the mysteries up here. They’re on the other side of the board. My, how much time we have spent on the mysteries in Paul’s epistles. It’s that whole body of truth between Romans and Philemon that was kept secret through the thousands of years of the Old Testament, through Christ’s earthly ministry, and through the early chapters of Acts. Nobody had an inkling of any of these so-called mysteries. Not a one of them.
All right, now here’s another one. Paul is again showing us a particular secret that was not understood until it came to the pen of this Apostle. All right, so he said:
“For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (or this secret) lest ye should be wise in your own conceits;…” Now stop and ask yourself a question. Who’s writing? Paul. Who’s he writing to? Gentiles. Not to Israel, he’s writing to Gentiles. He says that you should not be ignorant lest you should be wise in your conceits. Now, here is the mystery, the secret that nobody really understood until Paul comes along.
“…that blindness (a Spiritual blindness. Forever? No. What are next two words?) in part…” For a period of time.
Now for us this is a long period of time. It’s been over 1,900 years. How long is it in the mind of God? A snap of the finger. God’s timeless. Don’t ever forget that. Time means nothing to God. So when it says here that they would be blind in part, we think that more or less means a month or two. No, it’s been 2,000 years. But it’s a snap of the finger in God’s thinking. And here Israel has been blind all these 1,900 and some years, but now don’t stop there.
“…that blindness in part is happened to Israel, (And what’s the next word?) until (And what have I called that for 20-some years? A time word! Oh, it doesn’t give a month and a day and a year, but it gives a point in time that Israel is going to be kept spiritually blind—until some point in time, and then it’s going to be lifted.) the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” That is the Rapture of the Church!
All right, now you get the picture? While Israel is in a spiritual blindness, God is doing something He never did before. He went to the Gentile world with this glorious Gospel of Grace without works, without sacrifice, and without Temple worship. It’s a parenthesis, and it’s going to end. And when that parenthetical period of time ends, this “until” ends, and what is God going to do with Israel? He’s going to come back and deal with them on the basis of the Old Testament promises again.
Then all of this—that’s why we’ve got it in a double line. Once we get through this Dispensation of Grace and the Church is out of the way, God is going to pick up right where He left off. We’re still going to have Israel in the limelight, the seven years of Tribulation leading up to the Second Coming—which we’ve been talking about now for the last several months—bringing in the Kingdom.
Now, if you’re watching your news, my goodness, I think we’re getting close! You know we’re planning a tour to Israel – October? November? After reading some of my news magazines last night, I don’t know if we’ll be going or not. Because this one commentator maintains that either Israel or America is going to attack Iran before election day. Well, if they attack Iran before election day, we will not be going to Israel! And if it does happen, then to me that’s just the opening for the seven years of Tribulation. So we’re getting close one way or another. I don’t set dates. You know that.
But here we have a definitive statement that Israel is going to be blinded for a period of time during which God will go to the Gentile world with Paul’s Gospel. But when it ends, it’ll be when the Church is complete. All right, let’s get back to our verse in Romans again. My goodness, time is gone already.
“…that blindness in part is happened to Israel until (What?) the fullness of the Gentiles be come in.” Now remember what James said back in Acts? That He would call out a people for His name from among the Gentiles. Well, something that starts has to what? End. I mean, that’s just common life. So, once God started calling out the Gentile Body of Christ, it’s going and going until it gets to the full mark, and then what? We’re out of here in the Rapture. It just has to be.
And once we’re out of here, what does God do? He picks up where He left off with Israel, and in comes the seven years of the Tribulation. Everything is now moving forward to the coming of the King and the Kingdom, which we will pick up again in our next half hour. All these things are just literally laid out so simply. First, James and Peter and John recognized that Paul and Barnabas indeed had a ministry to the Gentiles that did not affect Peter, James, and John and the Twelve whatsoever. They are over there with Israel. These guys are out with the Gentiles.
Then we have the picture of the Nation being blinded, because of their rejecting all these things. And when the Nation was blinded, that opened the door for the Gentiles. Then Paul comes back with this graphic statement that Israel’s blindness is going to end when the fullness of the Gentiles is brought in.
And my goodness, how many times have I used the illustration of a young lady who is waiting for delivery? What’s the time frame? Who knows? Nine months or thereabouts—when that little baby is complete and everything is in place, what happens? Delivery. And that’s what we’re looking for. We’re going to be delivered out of this mess. We trust sooner rather than later.
LESSON THREE * PART II
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (Eternity)
Okay, it’s good to see everybody back after a break. We’ll go into program number two for this afternoon. We’re going to continue connecting the dots of Scripture. Those of you joining us again, we want to thank you for your prayers, your letters, your financial help, and everything. And for those of you here in the studio, my, how we appreciate you coming in every month.
Now again, we’re just going to pick right up where we left off in the last taping. I think Jerry has titled this one “Eternity.” When I review the programs, I think sometimes I waste too much time, so we’re going to get right back into it. We’re going to start in Revelation chapter 19 at the Second Coming of Christ.
Now, if you remember, for the last several programs we were talking about the Tribulation and the horrors of it. And how by the end of the Tribulation, all the wrath and vexation of God will have utterly destroyed planet Earth as we know it. Out of that will come, then, a renewed Garden of Eden-like planet that will be made ready for the millennium, or the thousand-year reign of Christ. We’re going to look at that a little bit this afternoon. But the millennium begins, of course, with the Second Coming of Christ.
Oh, by the way, Iris wants me to let our television audience know we still have some of these Q & A books. I don’t mind advertising them, because they are a blessing. Everybody that gets one just loves our Question & Answer Book. It’s still available. It will be the best $11.00 you will ever spend. They make wonderful gifts.
All right, Revelation 19 and we’re going to begin at verse 11. Now, before the guys flip the board, remember that this is what we’ve been talking about for the last, oh, I don’t know how many programs. That this parenthetical period of time that we had in our last half hour program is made up of these various doctrines of the Apostle Paul – what he calls the Revelation of the Mysteries. That’s why we’ve left it on the board. So that if you haven’t caught them all, you can at least be reminded that these mysteries are only found in Paul’s Epistles and nowhere else.
That’s why I’m always emphasizing Paul’s Apostleship, and 90% of Christendom never reads Paul. They never look at his letters, and that’s where we find the message for salvation and the Rapture of the Church and all the other mysteries concerning the Body of Christ!
I can tell from our audiences that they never get to hear Paul’s letters in Sunday school and Church. They say, “Why don’t we get anything from Paul?” Well, get on your Pastor. Tell him to get to where the things are really meant for us, but they won’t do it. I’m aware of that.
All right, Revelation 19—the Second Coming is going to be the final event of those seven years of wrath and vexation and will usher in the thousand years of Christ’s reign. Verse 11:
“And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war.” In other words, God never does anything out of anger or getting even. No vengeance, as such, it’s simply the result of man’s rejection of His offer of love and mercy and grace. Verse 12:
“His eyes (speaking of Jesus the Christ at His Second Coming, now) were as a flame of fire, and on his head were many crowns; and he had a name written that no man knew, but he himself. 13. And he was clothed with a vesture dipped (or sprinkled or splattered) in blood: and his name is called The Word of God.” Which, of course, is a perfect fit with John’s Gospel chapter 1.
“And the armies who were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean. 15. And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations:…” Now as I’m reading, I’m thinking. A lot of these things come up, and I really don’t intend to do. But, you see, there is a difference of opinion, and I don’t mind that. I don’t mind that people disagree with me. And on some things, I just sit on the fence. In fact, my answer with people is getting more and more, “Hey, let’s wait until we get there! And then we won’t have to argue. We’ll know.”
Now, the question that is coming up more and more is—Is the Body of Christ going to return with Christ at His Second Coming, or will we be eternally set in the heavenlies? Now, of course, there is a large group of people that think we will be strictly heavenly bound and heavenly abode; and yet, you see, when I come to a verse like this—this is why I had to stop. When I come to a verse like this, I have to think that maybe we will be with Him at His Second Coming, even though we may later on go back up. Because don’t forget, when we get into the eternal state, time will mean nothing. In other words, when Jesus went from Earth to Heaven, and He came back, He ascended again to Heaven. Well, was that millions and millions and millions of miles that He had to traverse? Well, if it was, He did it instantly. So, never confine yourself once we get into the eternal that, oh, it can’t happen. Oh, yes, it can. All right, now here’s what made me stop. I sure didn’t plan to do this. Verse 14:
“And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen, white and clean.” Now think. Who can be the armies in Heaven? I think (this is why I’m on the fence), I think this is a reference to the Body of Christ. Not angels.
It can’t be the Old Testament Saints, because they’re not going to be resurrected until 75 days later, remember. Here’s what puts me in a dilemma. On the one hand, yes, I think we’re going to be with Christ at His Second Coming, and I think that we may have something to do with the Kingdom. Now, I know that’s going to rile a lot of people. But I just tell them, hey, disagree with me lovingly, as I’m not setting it concrete. I’m not being obstinate. I’m just saying, now wait a minute, we’ve got to think these things through.
Come back with me to Romans. This is another portion that nobody that I read has ever addressed to my satisfaction. And again, I’m not going to claim that I’ve got the answer, because a lot of these things are debatable. No doubt about it. We have that freedom. And when we get there, we’re going to find out who was right and who was wrong. All right, but in Romans chapter 8, here’s another portion of Scripture that I just can’t throw aside and say, no, that doesn’t mean us, it means somebody else. No, it means us.
Romans 8 verse 18, now Paul is writing, so he’s writing to us members of the Body of Christ.
“For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in (or to) us. 19. For the earnest expectation of the creation (That is all the animal kingdom, the birds, and everything on creation.) is waiting for the manifestation of the children of God.” Well, now go back up to verses 14, 15, and 16. And let’s establish—who are the Children of God that Paul is talking about? Well, it’s us, see? It’s us! Verse 14:
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the children of God. 15. For ye have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear; but ye have received the Spirit of adoption, whereby we cry, Abba, Father. (Because we’re His child.) 16. The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: 17. And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with him, that we may be also glorified together.” All right, now back down to where we were in verse 19.
“For the earnest expectation (of all) of the creation (At the end of the Tribulation and the horrors of it, what are they waiting for?) waiteth for the manifestation of the children of God.” That’s us. Well, how else could we be manifested except to be with Him at His coming. Now, that’s the way I have to look at it. All right, read on:
“For the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. 21. Because the creation itself shall also be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of (Whom?) the children of God.” Who were the children of God? The Body of Christ. Now, I can’t separate that. But kind of leave it. If you read an article tomorrow that refutes what I’m saying, don’t get angry. Just say, “Well, that’s one way of looking at it.”
Now, I have to give you another one, if I can find it quickly. I’m thinking of all this while I’m talking, you want to remember. Back here in Revelation 19—it’s not only here that I have a question, where the armies which are in Heaven are clothed in fine linen. Well, that can’t be anybody, I don’t think, except the Body of Christ. Now, I’m not going to take time to look for the other one. Like I said, this is all off-the-cuff anyway. But come back to Revelation 19, at least I want to get people to think. You don’t have to agree with me, but think.
“And the armies which were in heaven…” And I just can’t see that as angels, then it would have said angels. It can’t be the Old Testament saints, because like I said, they’re not resurrected until 75 days later, remember. That’s Daniel chapter 12, in case you have to look it up. All right, verse 15:
“And out of his (that is out of Christ’s) mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations: (And remember that Hebrews tells us the Word of the Lord is a what? A two-edged sword. So we’re not talking about a metal sword here. We’re talking about the spoken Word that will come from the mouth of the Lord Jesus Christ at His Second Coming.) and he shall rule them (future—in the coming 1,000 years) with a rod of iron:…” And then coming back to the final days of the Tribulation which we looked at in a previous program. When I feel He will use the 100 pound hailstones, you remember, to crush those millions and millions of people gathered in the valleys of Israel. All right, then verse 16:
“And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.” Now you see, there’s His full title. And He’s going to set up His Kingdom. All right, as a result of the horrors of those closing months of the seven years of Tribulation, come on up to verse 17.
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come (Now these are birds of prey—the vultures and the eagles and what have you.) and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God;” Now, do I have to compare Scripture? Yes.
Come back with me again to Jeremiah chapter 25 and drop in at verse 31. Because I sometimes think when I read these verses that people just—well….maybe….but maybe not. This is what is coming. And I read an article again the other day of all the thousands of nuclear weapons that are just waiting to be exploded. And we’re getting closer and closer to it every day.
All right, by the end of the Tribulation I think they’re all going to be used, just like a string of firecrackers. And this will be the end result. Verse 31:
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the LORD hath a controversy with the nations, (All of them. Not just Israel now, we’re dealing with the whole.) he will plead with all flesh; he will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the LORD. 32. Thus saith the LORD of hosts, (The same Lord that we’re reading about at His Second Coming.) Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the borders of the earth.”
“And the slain of the LORD (By the millions, beloved, millions, billions are going to be losing their lives.) shall be at that day from one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth: they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung (or road kill) upon the ground.” Everywhere you look, dead bodies. It’s going to be awful.
All right, back to Revelation. And you know one of the amazing things of the last few years, and I’ve had more than one person call some of the wildlife people to see if this is true. All around the planet, there is a great increase in the birth rate of these birds of prey. The first one I read about, probably about 10 years ago, was one of the vulture types, I think, that was in the Middle East. They normally had two eggs in their nest, but were now having four. And same way here in America, a lot of the species that we call vultures and birds of prey are increasing by leaps and bounds. And, of course, they are under protection. Nobody can kill them. And it’s all for a reason.
And now here we have it in Revelation 19. He calls all the birds of prey together that they can come for the supper of the great God. All of this death and destruction, verse 18:
“That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great. 19. And I saw the beast, (that is the anti-Christ) and the kings of the earth, (who have been subjected to his demonic rule) and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.” Of course, we covered that several programs back, but now this is a new part that I hadn’t covered before—verse 20.
When the Tribulation has run its course, and it’s over, then those two men who were primary in the leadership of planet Earth—the anti-Christ in the political and economical and the False Prophet, who will be the religious leader of that time—two men, and here they come.
“And the beast (the anti-Christ) was taken, and with him the false prophet (Or the religious leader, whoever it is. I’m not going to put a name on either one of them. These men–) that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them who worshipped his image. (All during these seven years. Now both of these men–)These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
Now, I know we all shrink at the thought of an eternal hell-fire. And nobody wants to even preach it or teach it anymore. In fact, I had a letter just the other day where the guy was angry. What kind of a God is it that would cast people into such a place? I’ll tell you what kind of a God He is. He’s a God who paid the price for every one of them if they would have believed it.
They don’t have to go there. And that’s going to be one of the awful things of eternal loss. They’re going to regret for eternity why they rejected their free pardon out. They don’t have to be there. So, don’t ever blame God for preparing such a place, because He suffered far more alone than the billions of mankind will in unison. So, don’t ever take anything away from God in that department.
All right, so these two men, the anti-Christ and the false prophet, who had been the leaders of the last seven years, will be the first human beings to go into what we now realize was the eternal Lake of Fire. All right, I’m going to take you on over into chapter 20. The Tribulation has ended. The Kingdom is now ready to be brought in. Verse 1 of chapter 20:
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. (Not an iron chain. Iron won’t hold a spirit being like Satan. But it will be something that God can use to confine Satan.) 2. And he laid his hand on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years,”
Now, this is the first time in Scripture that we have a time frame on the Kingdom. All through the Old Testament, the Kingdom is merely promised as being forever and ever. But never is it signified as 1,000 years. But here in the Book of Revelation, we now have it simply defined as that period of time. All right, reading on in verse 3.
“And cast him into the bottomless pit, (Not hell, not the Lake of Fire, this is a separate place that God has prepared to hold Satan for these 1,000 years.) and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, (But what’s the next word?) until (See, there’s another time word. He’s not going to stay there forever, yet. He’s only being confined for that 1,000 years of the Kingdom rule and reign of Christ and then–) the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season.”
Now there again, we don’t know how long a period of time that will be after the 1,000 years of the perfect rule and reign of Christ over planet Earth. It’s going to be Heaven-on-Earth for all the inhabitants. I maintain the 1,000 years are a dispensation. Now, I’m going to exercise your thinking. Remember what a dispensation is? I hope you remember. A period of time during which God deals with the human race in a particular way or under a set of instructions. That’s a dispensation! (Note the seven dispensations listed below)
Adam and Eve were in a dispensation in the Garden of Eden. It was the dispensation of “Innocence,” and their instructions were simple—don’t eat of that tree. The next 1,400-1,500 years they were under the dispensation of “Conscience.” Their instructions were to bring a blood sacrifice. Well, conscience didn’t cut it, so they reaped the punishment of the flood. Then after the flood, they under the dispensation of “Human Government,” and they went through the Tower of Babel and the scattering of the population.
And then God did something totally different. He called out Abraham, and for a period of time he was under the dispensation of “Promise,” where God promised Abraham several things in Genesis chapter 12. All right, then after Abraham had established the Nation of Israel, they became a Nation down in Egypt. Then in 1500 B.C., God brought them out, and He put them under a new dispensation that we call what? Law. He gave the dispensation of Law, and that carried on from Moses until Paul. And that dispensation has its set of instructions—how to respond to sin and how to keep the Law and so on and so forth. It was a dispensation. A period of time during which there were specific instructions.
All right, today we’re in the dispensation of “Grace,” in which it covers the mysteries of Paul. But what are our instructions? To believe Paul’s Gospel—which is believing in your heart for salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose again—plus nothing else. Believe the Gospel. And once we become a believer of the Gospel, how to walk the Christian life. Those are our instructions. It’s our dispensation.
But when the Church goes in the Rapture, this dispensation ends, and the world goes back under an extension of Israel’s Law in the Tribulation. But now we come to the final dispensation of the Kingdom. It’s a period of time during which those people will be re-populating at an amazing rate, remember. And what are their instructions? Be obedient to the King. That’s all. Recognize that He’s the King. He’s the God of Glory. And as long as they’re obedient, they’re in God’s Grace.
All right, now in order to exercise the instructions of a dispensation, you have to have two choices. Think about it. You’re either going to follow the instructions, or you’re going to disobey them. Now, I stop once in a while to make people think. In this Dispensation of Grace, the world is faced with two alternatives – believe the Gospel or reject it. It’s that simple. Believe it and have eternal life. Reject it and go to an eternal doom. Now, you can’t get it any simpler than that.
All right, now in the Kingdom, it, too, is a dispensation. It is where God has given them the circumstances so that all they have to do is be obedient to the King. But, there has been nobody to trigger the opposition. Satan is locked up. So, in order for people to have the unction to make a choice, God has to bring Satan back for a period of time.
Now, I hope that answers a ton of questions, because it comes all the time. Why bring Satan back if He once had him off the scene? He’s got to give those new generations of people who have been born during this 1,000 years the opportunity to be obedient or disobedient. To make a choice like we had to make. So when Satan comes back in that period of time, we don’t know how long it is. Like I said in the first program, time means nothing to God. It could be awhile. But it’ll be long enough for those millions upon millions of new inhabitants of planet Earth to be confronted with the options—remain loyal to the King or follow the adversary. And what will most of them do? Like they’ve been doing for 6,000 years. They’ll go after the adversary. Unbelievable. All right, let’s pick it up in verse 7.
“And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 8. And shall go out to deceive (Just like he’s been doing through this 6,000 years.) the nations…” That’s why several programs back I pointed out, who comes in at the front end of that 1,000 years?
Well, a remnant of the Nation of Israel, who’ll be the largest of any nation. But there will be a sampling of all the other nations on the planet who have survived the Tribulation as believers (Matthew 25:31-32). They’ll come in on the front end and start having families and reproduce. It’s going to be just like Israel in Egypt. My land, how fast do you think the Jews reproduced in those early years in Egypt? Why, like flies. You know, they probably had multiple births. They never lost a child. You remember what the mid-wives said, Why, those Hebrew women are so lively, there’s no way of putting their babies to death. It was a population explosion. Well, you’re going to have the same thing in the Kingdom. This 1,000 years is going to be a population explosion like the world has never seen, because there’s nothing to refrain life. There’s no death. No sickness. No weakness. All right, so now Satan comes back on the scene.
“And shall go out to deceive (all these repopulated nations) the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea. 9. And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city:…” In total—just like it was 1,007 years earlier. They come back in total rebellion against the King, with the idea of overthrowing Him. But this time God doesn’t fool around. He speaks the Word, and the whole mass of them will be wiped off, except those who remain true to the King.
“…and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.”
All right, now in a quick half-a-minute. What in the world will Satan use to deceive people who have had Heaven-on-Earth for a thousand years? Well, the Bible doesn’t specifically say it, but I think it’s implied, and I’m comfortable with my opinion. He’s going to offer them, just like he did Eve in the Garden of Eden – why be content to be under God? Why don’t you just be God? And that’s Satan’s lie. And it’s going to just take all those billions of new people, and they’re going to follow after him, and they’re going to go to their doom.
LESSON THREE * PART III
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (Eternity)
It is so good having such a large group in for the taping this afternoon. We’re going to start right where we left off in the last lesson and that would be Revelation chapter 20. We’ll go down to verse 10.
While you’re looking that up in the studio, for those of you joining us on television, of course I say it over and over, but in case we’ve got new listeners, we’re just an informal Bible study. Hopefully you are learning how to study. Because the Word of God is so interesting, and it really becomes interesting when you learn how to rightly divide the Word
Now that’s the secret to good Bible study! And it’s not dividing the Old from the New Testament. But rather, since we’re under Grace in the Body of Christ and Paul is our apostle (Romans 11:13), we have to do most of our studying in Paul’s letters, because they are addressed to you and I today. The rest of Scripture pretty much is addressed to the Nation of Israel, especially from Genesis chapter 12 through Revelation, with the exception of Paul’s letters. Well, I hope that helps. Because once you see what belongs to you every day of your Christian walk, then Bible study becomes exciting.
All right, Revelation chapter 20, and in this lesson we’ll look at the judgment for all the lost from Cain till the last one that will be born goes out into eternity lost. There is no reason for any to go to that horrible place. God has made it so simple for mankind to live with Him throughout eternity—by just believing in your heart for your salvation that Jesus died for your sins, was buried, and rose from the dead (I Corinthians 15:1-4). But most of mankind fails to take advantage of this free gift from God.
“And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast (the anti-Christ) and the false prophet are, (We addressed that in that last half hour.) and they shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.” Now, I realize there are a lot of folks who are beginning to think that there’s an end to the punishment of Hell fire, but I cannot find it in Scripture.
“And I saw a Great White Throne, and him who sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” Now, we’ve got to identify the time factor here. This will be after the millennium has run its course. Those who rejected Christ at the end of the millennium will now be involved in this Great White Throne, because the Great White Throne judgment is for all the lost of all the ages—from Cain on up until the end of the millennium, and at which there will be no believers.
Now, I had a letter again the other day from some folks. Their preacher said that we were going to be there and see our loved ones judged. No, we will not! Because that would take all the glory of salvation away from us if we saw loved ones doomed to their eternal Hell fire. So, this is only for the lost.
We as believers have had our judgment, if you want to call it that, our examination at the judgment seat of Christ, which Paul taught back in II Corinthians chapter 5. So don’t ever let anybody tell you that any believers will be at this Great White Throne judgment. It’s at the beginning of eternity, now, and we don’t know where it is. It’s probably someplace out in the vastness of outer space, but whatever. It’s a real thing. It’s genuine. The Bible teaches it, so consequently, I have to address it.
I’ll never forget, I was teaching at a large church down in Florida. I won’t name it. It doesn’t matter. I’d had an all day Saturday Seminar. I wrestled all night, because they wanted me to teach the adult Sunday school class on Sunday morning and nothing, nothing was coming together. I got up that next morning on Sunday morning and I told Iris, “I can’t get anything to come together for that Sunday school class of about 200 people, I think.” I was just speechless. When it was time to start the class, I just told them, you know, the Lord just seemingly hasn’t laid anything on my heart and mind. And, I said, I guess the only thing I can do is ask if somebody has a question.
Well, one of the assistant pastors was sitting way at the back. He was a younger fellow. He said, “Les, you are always talking about works. How about the works in Revelation 20?” I about had heart failure! I said, great! That’s the Great White Throne. We’ll talk about it. So we turned to this chapter, and I spent the whole hour teaching Revelation 20 and the Great White Throne. Well, the Sunday school was a little ways from the sanctuary. As we were walking from the Sunday school to the Sanctuary, I can’t tell you how many of the older people in that congregation came around and said, “Les, this is the first time we’ve heard Hell fire in this church in 50 years!”
But, you see, that’s most churches. Preachers never address it anymore. I’m aware of that. People don’t want to hear it. They don’t want to admit that there is that kind of an eternal future for the lost. But, beloved, it’s in the Book. It’s as plain as language can make it, and we’d better address it.
So here we are, the Great White Throne out some place in space at the beginning of eternity. I think it’s in that interval of time between the destruction of everything and everything new—as we’re going to see, hopefully, in the next half hour in chapter 21 and 22, which is the eternity that’s awaiting us. But back to verse 12 in Revelation 20 where John says:
“And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened:…” Now, I have to stop a minute. Where do all these lost people come from? How could they stand before God now after 7,000 years of the human experience?
Well, go back with me to John’s Gospel. I think we can make it as plain as language can make it. John’s Gospel chapter 5 and we’ll jump in at verse 28. If you’ve got a red letter edition, it’ll be in red, because Jesus is speaking during His earthly ministry.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, (He doesn’t say when, but it’s coming.) in the which (at that particular hour) all that are in the graves (In other words, who have lived and died.) shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; (That’s resurrection.) they who have done good,…” In other words, the people of faith, whether it was Adam or Seth or Noah, all the way up through our present age, the Age of Grace and our faith in the Gospel—all who have been people of faith.
I shrink at the “done good” of that verse, because then the first thing people say is, “Well, then I have to work for my salvation.” That’s not what Jesus meant. What He meant here was those who have responded by faith, which has always been the way.
“…they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life;…” Now, let’s stop a moment. For the Body of Christ believer, that’ll be at the time of what we call the Rapture at the end of the Church Age.
Then we’ve got other groups that will be resurrected. I think they will all, for the most part, come under the resurrection of—now come back with me. Keep your hand in John. I’m not through there. But come back with me to Daniel. I referred to it in the closing moments of the last half hour, so it’s a good thing we looked at it. Daniel chapter 12 and we’ll just let Scripture speak for itself.
“And at that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince who standeth for the children of thy people: (that is Israel) and there shall be a time of trouble, (A reference to the seven years of Tribulation) such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time; and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” In other words, you remember, the believing remnant of Israel is going to survive the Tribulation and go into the Kingdom.
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,…” Now we’ve got to be careful. You know there are groups that teach “soul sleep” and so forth. I always answer with one terse answer. The body may sleep awaiting a resurrection, but the soul never sleeps or dies.
The soul never dies. Because at creation, back there in Genesis 1:27, the human race was created in the image of God. So the human soul, spirit, that invisible part of us will die the day God does. When will that be? Never! So remember, if we’re a member of the human race, the soul and spirit will never die. It’s going to keep on living in the interval between physical death and resurrection. It’s going to keep on living for all eternity, because we’re going to live as long as God lives, whether saved or lost!
“And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth…” In other words, the body has been put in the grave, returned to the dust of the earth, but the soul and the spirit are still someplace. Now, keep your hand in John and Daniel and let’s go to Luke chapter 16. Again, I didn’t intend to do any of this today. I’m sorry. But I guess it’s what the Spirit leads. That’s what we have to go by.
Luke chapter 16, the rich man in torment and Abraham and Lazarus are in Paradise. All right, Luke 16, we haven’t got time to look at all of this, but just to show you that even though they’re in the place of the departed in what the Hebrew calls Sheol. In the Greek it’s called Hades, and in the English, be it right or wrong, it’s called Hell. All right, here we are:
“There was a certain rich man, who was clothed in purple and fine linen, and fared sumptuously every day: (That is in his days of life on earth.) 20. And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus, who was laid at his gate, full of sores. (In other words, he had none of the things of this world.) 21. And desiring to be fed with the crumbs which fell from the rich man’s table: moreover the dogs came and licked his sores.”
“And it came to pass, that the beggar (in this case Lazarus) died, and was carried by the angels into Abraham bosom: (Which was down in Sheol, but on the Paradise side.) the rich man also died, and was buried;” So his body is going to go back to the dust of the earth. Now verse 23:
“And in hell (in Hades, in Sheol, the place of the departed) the rich man lifted up his eyes, being in torments, (See that?) and seeth Abraham afar off, and Lazarus in his bosom. 24. And he cried and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his finger in water, and cool my tongue; for I am tormented in this flame.” Now remember, this is the Lord Jesus Himself speaking. So you can’t put any doubt on it whatsoever. This is for real.
Now remember, the rich man is in the torment side of Hades, or Hell. Abraham and Lazarus are over on the Paradise side. Now, to refresh your memory, what did Jesus tell the thief on the cross just before they died? “Today, thou shalt be with me (Where?) in Paradise.” That’s what He’s talking about. Where Abraham and Lazarus were. They were in the place of the departed, which Jesus said in Matthew 12 is in the center of the earth. So I have to go along with that. At some place in the center of the earth was this place of the departed called Sheol or Hades or Hell. But it had a great gulf fixed, and over here was Torment, over here was Paradise.
Now, at Christ’s death, burial, and resurrection, He took Paradise up to Heaven. But Hell remains as it is. Okay? Now just a couple of comments here, so that you’ll get where I’m coming from. Verse 25:
“But Abraham said, (to the rich man) Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime received thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things: but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented. (Now here it is.) 26. And beside all this, between us and you there is a great gulf fixed: (that separated Paradise from Torment) so that they who would pass from hence to you cannot; neither can they pass to us, that would come from thence.” And so on and so forth. But what I want you to see is that in the Old Testament economy, where of course Daniel is writing, the believers went down into Paradise of Sheol, and the lost went over to where the rich man is. Now, if you’ll come back with me to Daniel, maybe we can wind this up and make it understandable.
“And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; (See, just like Jesus said in John 5 – those who have done good; they’ve been people of faith.) and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever. 4. But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book,…” All right, then He tells Daniel to shut up the book and so on and so forth.
But now come all the way over to verse 8, still in Daniel 12. We’re still dealing with the resurrection of the non-Body of Christ. I have to put it that way, because, remember, we’ve got to still take care of Adam and all those before Israel became a Nation. Those are all part, I feel, of the Old Testament economy. So they’ll all be resurrected at the same time. There is not a separate resurrection for the first 2,000 and then another one. There is one resurrection for anybody that’s not in the Body of Christ, but were believers.
“And I heard, but I understood not:…” Now, do you see what this is saying? These Old Testament writers wrote of things by virtue of the Holy Spirit. They didn’t have a clue what they were writing about. But they wrote. And that’s exactly what Peter meant back here in his little epistles–“how they searched diligently.” But did they find the answers? No. It wasn’t meant for them to. And this is what we have to understand – that God reveals things for man’s understanding when He is ready to reveal it. Daniel wasn’t that fortunate. He wrote things that he couldn’t comprehend.
“And I heard, but I understood not: then I said, O my Lord, what shall be the end of these things? 9. And he said, Go thy way, Daniel: for the words are closed up and sealed until the time of the end.” Well, now I have, I guess, almost a canned answer by now. I’ve taught it so often. I call it the signs of the times. And when did end time signs really start accumulating. The late 1800’s.
And again, I go back to Isaiah. When Isaiah was warning Israel of the coming Babylonian invasion and the captivity, what did it sound like? Next month. How long was it? Hundred years. That’s why I feel that time-wise we’re right on God’s end time scenario of being about a hundred years. You can go back and just see in every segment of our existence that all the signs of the end time began in the last part of the 1800’s. Then after we cross over into the 1900’s, it’s a down hill run. And here we’re culminating now after a hundred years of the signs of the end time.
All right, now same way here—these things that Daniel had written prophetically were not understood until the late 1800’s. For eighteen hundred years Christendom had absolutely no concept of end time prophecy. And God didn’t intend it to be. But as we approach the end time now, of course, more and more becomes evident. So reading on in verse 10:
“Many shall be purified, and made white, and tried; but the wicked shall do wickedly: (My, we’re seeing that, aren’t we?) and none of the wicked shall understand;…” You go out into the world today and try to tell them about end time events, and they look at you like a “bull at a new gate.” What are you talking about? Isn’t that right?
Forgive me, but my big city people love those little things. But that’s true. They haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. It’s what the Book says. Now verse 11:
“And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, (Now, you’ve got to be a Bible student. When does the anti-Christ shut down Israel’s temple? In the middle of the Tribulation. All right, so from the middle of the Tribulation, then–) and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, (From the middle of the Tribulation until the event that Daniel is going to wait for–) will be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.” That’s an extra thirty days.
“Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and thirty five days. (So we’ve got an extra 75 days in Daniel 12 that leads up to the resurrection of the Old Testament saints, which is in verse 13.) 13. But go thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, (In other words, Daniel is in that place of perfect bliss and rest as Abraham and Lazarus were. Only it’s not down in Paradise. Paradise is now in Glory. But nevertheless, they are still waiting for their resurrection day.) and stand in thy lot (or your company—your group of saved people) at the end of the days.” Or 75 days after Christ returns.
Now, I take that 75 days to be what Daniel 2 referred to as the dust that was blown away after the stone smites the image. You remember that in Daniel 2? The stone that smote the image and ground it to powder and then the wind blew the chaff and the residue away. I take that to take place during this 75 days, and that will make the earth ready for the glory of the Kingdom.
All right, now we’re still back in John. Okay, John chapter 5 again, now maybe this will mean a little more to you. Verse 28, let’s just read it all over.
“Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the grave shall hear his voice, 29. And shall come forth; they who have done good, (the people of faith) unto the resurrection of life;…” And we’ve broken them down into two companies or orders. The Rapture of the Body of Christ before the Tribulation; and after the Kingdom is set up, the Old Testament and the rest of the world’s population that are believers. Those are the two resurrections of life! Now, come to the next one.
“…and they who have done evil, (They’ve never responded to God’s Word. They have never responded by faith. They will come–) unto the resurrection of condemnation.” Okay, now I’ve got four minutes left to bring this to a head. Come back with me once again to Revelation chapter 20.
For the believers there will be two resurrections. The resurrection of the Body of Christ at the Rapture, and the resurrection of all the rest of the believers before we come into the Kingdom event when the Old Testament saints will come back 75 days after Christ returns. But now at the end of everything, at the end of the 7,000 years or whatever else goes on after that. At the end of everything, the Great White Throne is set up and here come all the lost of the ages. And I feel they’ll be in bodies, otherwise why have a resurrection?
Resurrection simply means a person who has died and has been supernaturally brought back to life. Not like Lazarus. Lazarus wasn’t resurrected. He was simply brought back to life. The widow’s son was brought back to life. But resurrection is when, by God’s supernatural power, a person who has lived and died and gone back to the dust of the earth is called out with a resurrection body. And that’s what we have here. And I feel that they’re going to stand before the Lord Jesus Christ bodily. With a body not fit for eternal bliss, but a body fit for the Lake of Fire. Now, that’s my own interpretation. I can’t specifically say that’s what the Book says, but I think I’m close. All right, read on in verse 12.
“So I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books (plural) were opened: and another book (singular) was opened, which is the book of life:…” And if they weren’t in the Book of Life, God would show it to them, proof positive. You’ve never entered into eternal life. You’ve never exercised faith. And then He judges their punishment in the Lake of Fire, where there will be degrees. Absolutely there will be. He gives out the punishment according to the works that were registered in the books. Reading on in verse 12:
“and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. 13. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; (And I think that takes you all the way back to the early centuries of the human experience before the flood.) and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works.” None excepted. Every human being that has ever lived is going to have his moment of time, although it’s in eternity, before the Lord Jesus Christ.
“And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” In other words, they’re resurrected out of Hell where the rich man was. They’re resurrected out of wherever the lost have been in the interval of time, and then bodily they are cast into the Lake of Fire—the second death.
The first death, of course, is physical death. The second death is spiritual death. Now then verse 15, oh, we don’t like this. I know we don’t. I can sometimes wake up at night and think about this. How I wish it weren’t true. But, beloved, it is. And until God tells us clearly that it’s wrong, we have to accept it as biblical truth. Verse 15:
“And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” And Jesus Himself over and over used what kind of terminology? Forever and ever and ever and ever. It is without end.
LESSON THREE * PART IV
BOOK 4 of CONNECTING THE DOTS
Genesis – Revelation (Eternity)
Okay, good to see everybody. This is program number 4 for this afternoon. We’re hopefully going to wind-up “Connecting the Dots of Scripture” with this program. So they will all be in books 74, 75, 76, & 77. We’re going to finish the Book of Revelation hopefully, and we’ll trust that the Lord will use it for His glory.
Okay, for those of you in television, again, we are just an informal Bible study. We don’t want anybody to get the idea that I am a pastor. I don’t have a church. All I’ve got is a herd of black cattle, so don’t call me Reverend and don’t ever say I’m anointed, because in my Book, there was only one that was anointed and that was Christ Himself. So, I’m kind of picky about what people call me.
All right, let’s go to Revelation 21 and all of a sudden, we’re into eternity. And it’s a whole new ballgame, once again. Verse 1:
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2. And I, John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.” All right, now I’m going to spend the biggest portion of our time, I think, on verse 1, because we want to look at what it really says compared with other Scripture.
“And I saw a new heaven and a new earth:…” All right, go all the way back to Genesis. If you know it from memory, you can see it in your mind’s eye, well and good. Don’t bother. But otherwise, go back and look at it once again. It’s where we started 17 or 18 years ago. Genesis 1:1 and I made the point then, and I’m going to make it again today.
“In the beginning God created (What?) the heaven and the earth.” And if you’ll remember, I made the point that not right away but after two thousand years of human history, the Nation of Israel appears. And from the onset of Israel, they are God’s what kind of people? Earthly! And all that God dealt with was the Nation of Israel, until He sent the Apostle Paul to the Gentile world with another whole new ballgame and called them the Body of Christ. But what kind of people were they? Heavenly!
This is what you have to do with Scripture. Is God addressing His earthly people Israel? Or is He dealing with the heavenly people, the Body of Christ? Now Revelation 21 just told us that everything is going to be made new just like it was in Genesis, a new heaven and a new earth.
Now as you come back up through your New Testament, go all the way with me to II Peter chapter 3. Now again, not everybody is going to agree with me. But I feel as though Peter here is referring to what we’re seeing in Revelation 21. II Peter chapter 3 and go all the way to verse 4, so we get what I call the flow of Scripture. And remember, Peter is writing. And who is he writing to? Jews. This is not an ecumenical book at all. This is Peter addressing fellow Jews.
II Peter 3:4
“And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? (That’s what the scoffers said up there in verse 3. That’s why sometimes I should go further up than I do, but the scoffer said–) for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of creation.” Sound familiar?
Well, we’re hearing the same thing today. You try to talk to people about the signs of the times and hear, “No, Les, it’s always been this way.” No, it hasn’t! We are in a time that’s different than anything else. Oh, granted, it’s all connected, but we are in the signs of the times. All right, now verse 5:
II Peter 3:5-7a
“For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water: 6. Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: 7. But the heavens and the earth, which are now,…” Now remember, when Peter is writing in the first century, A.D. 60-65, the world is as it is now. The oceans and everything haven’t changed.
II Peter 3:7-8a
“But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, (In other words, God has not permitted anything to happen to it, but He has reserved it for His own purposes, remember, which is–) reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. 8. But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years,…” Now I’ve been alluding to that all afternoon, haven’t I?
God is eternal. Time means nothing to God. A thousand years is no different to God than a day. A second is no different than a hundred years. He’s eternal. He’s timeless. All right, verse 9:
II Peter 3:9
“The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.” Now remember, Peter is dealing with his fellow Jews. Now verse 10:
II Peter 3:10a
“But (In spite of dealing with the human race, and Israel in particular, for a total of 7,000 years as we get ready for eternity–) the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens (To me, that’s outer space.) shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements…” Now I’ve got to stop right there.
How many of you have ever taken high school chemistry? Have any of you had high school or college chemistry? Yeah. All right, what was the big chart on the wall? Huh? The Periodic Table.
They’ve got the atomic make-up of all the elements. That’s what they called it. See, this is such a scientific book. It’s the exact language that chemists use today and also physicists—the elements, the things that make up planet Earth. Now look what’s going to happen.
II Peter 3:10b
“…and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also (along with, I think, the whole universe) and the works that are therein shall be (What?) burned up.” What does that mean? Melted down to nothing! All right, the next verse, I think, makes it even more believable—verse 11.
II Peter 3:11
“Seeing then…” Now you want to remember, Peter wasn’t a university graduate. Peter was an uneducated fisherman. He was about in the same boat that I am as a farmer. You know, I don’t claim to have any education about anything. But you see, Peter writes by inspiration with the same language that scientists use today. And what’s the word I’m looking at? Dissolved–if you work in a chemistry lab, there are certain things that you can put together and it’ll just dissolve it into a liquid.
II Peter 3:11
“Seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holy conversation (or manner of living) and godliness.” Now he’s putting the frosting on the cake. He’s bringing it to the point.
II Peter 3:12a
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, (Now, I think he’s referring to the beginning of eternity, the end of 7,000 years of planet earth.) wherein the heavens (See? We’re not talking about the planet.) being on fire, shall be (What?) dissolved,…”
Now again, for those of you who have had a little bit of college physics and chemistry, you realize that the make-up of the atom is such. Let’s see, I’ve got my old blackboard up here. I haven’t done this in a long time. I hope I’ve got a piece of chalk that works. You see, the little old atom is much like the solar system. Here you’ve got the nucleus, which is comparable to our sun. And then out here in what we call the outer orbits are the (If I remember right. Boy, it’s a long time since I’ve done this.) electrons. And within the nucleus, I’m going to keep that a circle. Now remember, this is billions upon billions of multiplications for size, but within the nucleus–
Now let me put that in a bigger circle. Inside the nucleus, from the center to the outer edge, what’s happening? What’s going on? These little particles in the nucleus are zipping to the outer edge, but instead of going on out, their velocity drops to zero. They come back to the middle, and that’s going on constantly. All right, now when our scientists split the atom, what do they do? They permit these little particles to zip on out. Now when they zip out, what do they do to the atom next door? Split it, and that’s what we call nuclear fission. I think that’s right word. Been a long time since I’ve done this. I’m flying by the seat of my pants today. Maybe that’s why I’m getting tired.
But anyway, I’ll never forget my old chemistry professor and his explanation of this very phenomenon. That from the center–now this is the nucleus right down here. This doesn’t affect these outer electrons. These are protons and neutrons, but anyhow, I’ll never forget. He said, why does it drop to zero and come back to the center, instead of going out through the outer edge? Nuclear glue. I read another scientific article a while back, the guy still used the same terminology. Nuclear glue. It’s what holds the atoms together.
Now let’s use Scripture. On the one hand, it’s hard work today. But on the other hand, I’m having a ball, because I’m not tied to any particular line of thought. Come back with me to Colossians. Colossians chapter 1, because see this is why I love teaching this Book. I can show over and over how everything fits just like a jigsaw puzzle. All right, now remember what we’re talking about—that God in His providence has constructed the atom in such a way that it does not self-destruct. Man has to somehow trigger it. And that’s what they do with the atomic energy. They have to trigger those particles into breaking out and then in turn splitting all those around us, and then you have your energy.
All right, now look what the Pauline Scripture says. Colossians 1, dropping down to verse 15. We use them over and over. I had a letter again the other day that I had to answer right back with these verses. You have to understand who Jesus Christ really is, or you can never understand the Gospel. You can never understand the work of the cross unless you understand who He really is. And here it is. This is one of the best descriptions of Jesus Christ that you can find in this whole Book.
“Who (the Son up in verse 13) is the image of the invisible God, the first born (or before) of every creature: 16. For by him (this Jesus of Nazareth) were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things (anything that you can imagine) were created by him and for him:” Now here’s the verse I’m heading for.
“And he is before all things, and by him all things (What?) consist.” Held together. It’s the power of Jesus Christ that keeps that atom from disintegrating. Now come back to Peter. When he speaks of this whole creation being reduced to solvency, down to a fluid of some kind, it’s going to be dissolved. II Peter chapter 3 again, looking at verse 12. That’s the capstone.
II Peter 3:12a
“Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved,…” What’s He going to do? He’s going to release all the atomic energy of the universe. And it’s going to be a meltdown. Totally.
Now, I’ve referred to it in the past. I’ll never forget an article I read years ago in a scientific magazine. Probably back in the ‘60’s before we even moved to Oklahoma. This guy at the time was a physicist, if I remember correctly, down at the University of Texas. And he was writing an article on the origins of the universe. And he went through all these scientific formulas and this and that and everything. But then he came to this conclusion—that everything originated from an original source of light. Now those of you who have a little science, light is equal to what? Energy. What’s God? He’s Light. He’s Energy.
So, I remember telling Iris that this guy is so close. Even though he’s probably miles away, he’s so close to the truth that, yes, God was that source of Light out of which the universe came. And then he came to the end of his article. And this really put me through the ceiling. He said, I can further see that sometime way on out into the future the whole thing will come back into that original source of light. And you know, that just gives me goose bumps. Yeah, I think that’s what’s going to happen. And that’s what Peter says. It’s all going to be reduced. It’s going to dissolve. And God’s going to pull it off.
Now I just shared this with somebody on the phone the other day. Somebody called and said, “Well, why will God destroy everything?” What do you suppose was my stock answer? Who has defiled everything? Satan has. Heaven? Yes. Satan’s had access to Heaven. His filthy presence has polluted everything that he’s ever touched. So I think God is just going to have to show that, yes, Satan diluted and polluted everything in His creation. And He’s going to make it all brand new. Now isn’t that a thrilling concept? Everything is going to be brand new for eternity. Reading on in verse 13, then we’ll run back to Revelation for a few minutes.
II Peter 3:13
“Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth (What?) righteousness.” Oh, it’s going to be glorious!
Now let’s come back to Revelation 21, where John is saying the same thing inspired by the same Holy Spirit. And along with this new heaven and new earth, we see something that I sometimes think will be evident during the millennium. It won’t be on the earth. It will be out in space. And that is the Holy City.
“And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.”
Now, that’s not anything but a city. Whether it is square or pyramid, there again, is a lot of debate. But it’s going to be 1500 miles by 1500 miles by 1500 miles. That’s huge, you know that? That’s the City, not the planet. I’ve always maintained, since I understood a little bit of this, that if you’re going to have a city 1500 miles wide and long, it would never sit on this planet. My goodness, half of it would be out over the Atlantic Ocean. So in order to have a planet big enough to hold a city 1500 miles square, can you imagine how huge that will be? But it’s going to. It’s going to come down, and it’s going to rest on this new earth. I think it’ll be bigger than Jupiter. It’s going to be humongous, but whatever. It’s going to be a city 1500 by 1500 by 1500, whether it’s up to the point of a pyramid, or if it’s a cube. You take your pick.
Okay, now verse 3. First, before you read any further, to what people is John writing the Book of Revelation? Israel. There’s not one Gentile word in here. This is all directed to the Nation of Israel. Reading on:
“And I head a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.” Who did God say that to way back in Jeremiah? Israel. Go back to Jeremiah 31. This is the new covenant, and it’s going to carry Israel right into the eternal state.
“But this shall be the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel; After those days, saith the LORD, I will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; and will be their God, and they shall be my people.” You see how Scripture identifies itself with Scripture?
All right, come back to Revelation once again. John is saying the same thing in chapter 21. That God, dealing with His people Israel, will be their God and they shall be His people. Verse 4:
“And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away. 5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, (I’m the A and the Z.) the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7. He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.”
Now there’s that word “overcometh.”’ Where else did you see it? In the seven letters to those seven assemblies in the first three chapters of Revelation. And you know, I’ve made a point. Those weren’t Gentile churches. Those were Jewish Synagogues. Same language.
Now down comes the city in verse 10. The city four-squared and, again, I’m going to make the point. Look how Jewish this all is. I’m still in Revelation 21 verse 12.
“And had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names were written thereon, which are the names of the (Body of Christ? No. Who?) the twelve tribes of the children of Israel:” Now verse 13:
“On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb.” But were they the apostles of Israel or Gentiles? Israel!! So, this is all Jewish. I don’t care what they say. You can’t put Gentile language in there!
I’ve only got three minutes left, so let’s skip over and glean a little out of the last chapter of the book—chapter 22 verse 1.
“And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month:…” And I feel that all of this is primarily the promises made to Israel.
Now, we’re in there someplace as the Body of Christ. I’m not going to leave you destitute of an eternal hope. But all of these things are first and foremost God’s promises to His covenant people Israel. Now for just a couple of minutes that we have left, come on down to verse 9.
“Then saith he unto me, See thou do it not, for I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren the prophets, (that’s Old Testament) and of them who keep the sayings of this book: worship God. 10. And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for the time is at hand. 11. He that is unjust, let him be unjust still: and he which is filthy, let him be filthy still: and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still: and he that is holy, let him be holy still.” Then the Lord Jesus Himself says, in verse 12:
“And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” As we’ve already seen earlier this afternoon, when the lost will come before the Great White Throne. The saved of the ages, of course, will be in a different judgment. All right, so here again, verse 13:
“I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. 14. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life,…” Now you want to remember, the Tree of Life disappeared back there in Genesis and has been off the scene until we get to the last chapter of the Book. Then it’s back in view. The tree of life is still alive and well, thank you. All right, now here’s a verse that causes a lot of questions.
“For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosever loveth and maketh a lie.” Now it’s simply that those people will have no part in this eternal bliss of the new heaven and the new earth. They have already gone to their doom. It’s just a reminder, I think, of the kind of people that will not be in that glorious abode. All right, I’ve got to take time to make one point, verse 20.
“He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly.” Let’s pray for it!